Temporary interference over the posterior parietal cortices disrupts thermoregulatory control in humans

Alberto Gallace, Giovanna Soravia, Zaira Cattaneo, G. Lorimer Moseley, Giuseppe Vallar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere88209
JournalPLoS One
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 12 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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