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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Winter 1989, Vol. 1, No. 1, Pages 3-11
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.1989.1.1.3)
© 1989 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Static and Dynamic Aspects of Cortical Somatotopy: A Critical Evaluation
Article PDF (1.06 MB)

The demonstration that functional somatotopic maps within the adult neocortex undergo some degree of reorganization following peripheral injury has aroused considerable interest. The evidence for such reorganization in the rat and monkey is reviewed and it is concluded that in both species there is good evidence for limited functional map reorganization in the adult neocortex following peripheral injury. The significance of such functional map reorganization, particularly in terms of whether or not cortical maps are continuously modifiable throughout life, is discussed. It is concluded that the current evidence for map reorganization is best interpreted in terms of the unmasking of preexisting neuronal circuits rather than as evidence of dynamic cortical selection processes.