The suggestion has recently been made that certain higher-order cortical areas involved in supporting multisensory representations of the body, and of the space around it, might also play a role in controlling thermoregulatory functions. Here we demonstrate that temporary interference with the function of one of these areas, the posterior parietal cortex, by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, results in a decrease in limb temperature. By contrast, interference with the activity of a sensory-specific area (the primary somatosensory cortex) had no effect on temperature. The results of this experiment suggest that associative multisensory brain areas might exert a top-down modulation over basic physiological control. Such a function might be part of a larger neural circuit responsible for maintaining the integrity of the body at both a homeostatic and a psychological level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)