Sights of touching activates the somatosensory cortex in humans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We report our observations of cross-modal interactions between sight and touch using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Experiments were devised to show that sight and touch are linked in a cross-modal arrangement, and two separate experiments were done in an MRI scanner. In the first, the subject's right hand was stimulated with a brush; in the second, a video sequence was presented to the subject inside the scanner through video goggles in visual three-dimensional stereo, showing one brushstroke every second on a hand in the same manner as the subject had just previously experienced. The result was that both the primary and the secondary somatosensory cortexes were activated in the participants when the hands were touched, and when the subjects saw only a hand being touched in the same manner. The results indicated cross-modal links between sight and touch of the hand in humans.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery


  • somatosensory cortex, Cross-modal, multisensory, vision, fMRI, touch
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-269
JournalScandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch