Somatosensory Cortex Efficiently Processes Touch Located Beyond the Body

Luke E. Miller, Cécile Fabio, Valeria Ravenda, Salam Bahmad, Eric Koun, Romeo Salemme, Jacques Luauté, Nadia Bolognini, Vincent Hayward, Alessandro Farnè

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using electroencephalography, Miller et al. found that where a hand-held tool is touched is rapidly represented by the dynamics of sensorimotor cortices. Primary somatosensory cortex efficiently extracts location information encoded by the tool's vibratory patterns. The brain reuses neural processes initially devoted to mapping touch on the body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4276-4283.e5
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 16 2019


  • efficient coding
  • electroencephalography
  • embodiment
  • extended sensing
  • mechanoreceptors
  • sensorimotor
  • somatosensory cortex
  • tool use
  • touch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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