Resting BOLD fluctuations in the primary somatosensory cortex correlate with tactile acuity

Lauren M. Haag, Stefanie Heba, Melanie Lenz, Benjamin Glaubitz, Oliver Höffken, Tobias Kalisch, Nicholaas A. Puts, Richard A.E. Edden, Martin Tegenthoff, Hubert Dinse, Tobias Schmidt-Wilcke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Sensory perception, including 2-point discrimination (2ptD), is tightly linked to cortical processing of tactile stimuli in primary somatosensory cortices. While the role of cortical activity in response to a tactile stimulus has been widely investigated, the role of baseline cortical activity is largely unknown. Using resting state fMRI we investigated the relationship between local BOLD fluctuations in the primary somatosensory cortex (the representational field of the hand) and 2ptD of the corresponding index finger (right and left). Cortical activity was measured using fractional amplitudes of the low frequency BOLD fluctuations (fALFF) and synchronicity using regional homogeneity (ReHo) of the S1 hand region during rest. 2ptD correlated with higher ReHo values in the representational areas of the contralateral S1 cortex (left hand: p=.028; right hand: p=049). 2ptD additionally correlated with higher fALFF in the representational area of the left hand (p=007) and showed a trend for a significant correlation in the representational area of the right hand (p=051). Thus, higher BOLD amplitudes and synchronicity at rest, as measures of cortical activity and synchronicity, respectively, are related to better tactile discrimination abilities of the contralateral hand. Our findings extend the relationship seen between spontaneous BOLD fluctuations and sensory perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • 2ptD
  • BA
  • BOLD
  • FMRI
  • Fractional amplitude of low frequency fluctuations
  • GM
  • ReHo
  • Regional homogeneity
  • Resting state fMRI
  • S1
  • SPM
  • Tactile perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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