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The Sensory Hand: Neural Mechanisms of Somatic Sensation

The Sensory Hand: Neural Mechanisms of Somatic Sensation

by Vernon B. MountcastleVernon B. Mountcastle


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The hand is an organ of considerable capability. With it we feel, point, and reach, we determine the texture and shape of objects we palpate, we emit and receive signs of approval, compassion, condolence, and encouragement, and, on a different register, rejection, threat, dislike, antagonism, and attack.

Vernon Mountcastle has devoted his career to studying the neurophysiology of sensation—the extended sensory surface, consisting of skin and subcutaneous tissue—in the hand. In The Sensory Hand Mountcastle provides an astonishingly comprehensive account of the neural underpinnings of the rich and complex tactile experiences evoked by stimulation of the hand. Mountcastle focuses attention on the nerve pathways linking the hand to central neural structures, structures that play a role in several other aspects of somatic sensation. His new book thus becomes a sequel to his earlier volume, Perceptual Neuroscience, in which he offered a detailed analysis of the role of the distributed systems of the neocortex in perception generally.

Written by one of the giants of modern neuroscience and the first single-authored book-length treatment of the subject, The Sensory Hand is a major work of scholarship that will be essential reading for anyone interested in how the brain registers sensation and perception.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674019744
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 12/30/2005
Pages: 640
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Vernon B. Mountcastle, M.D., was University Professor of Neuroscience, Emeritus, at the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute of Johns Hopkins University and winner of the 1998 National Academy of Sciences Award in Neurosciences.

Table of Contents

1. Perception and the World of Somesthesis

2. The Evolution and Structure of the Hand

3. General Features of Somatic Afferent Systems

4. Sensory Innervation of the Primate Hand

5. Large-Fibered Peripheral Interface

6. Dorsal Systems and the Dorsal Column Nuclear Complex

7. Small-Fibered Peripheral Interface

8. Ascending Spinal Cord Systems of Intrinsic Origin

9. Dual Functions of the Dorsal Thalamus

10. Postcentral Somatic Sensory Areas in Primates

11. Dynamic Neural Operations in Somatic Sensibility

12. Dynamic Neural Operations the Sense of Flutter Vibration

13. Parietal Lateral System and Somatic Sensibility

14. Parietal Frontal Sensory Motor Transition

15. Adaptive Reorganizations of Central Somatic Sensory Networks

16. Haptic Sense As Substitute for Vision

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