Feeling sounds after a thalamic lesion

Tony Ro, Alessandro Farnè, Ruth M. Johnson, Wedeen Van Wedeen, Zili Chu, Zhiyue J. Wang, Jill V. Hunter, Michael S. Beauchamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Objective: The ventrolateral nucleus of the thalamus (VL), based on its connectivity with the cerebellum and motor cortex, has long been considered to be involved with motor functions. We show that the human VL also plays a prominent role in sensory processing. Methods: Structural magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging were used to localize a small lesion restricted to the right VL in a patient with contralesional sensory processing deficits. Systematic assessments of anatomic brain organization and behavioral measurements of somatosensory and visual processing were conducted at several time points after stroke. Results: Initially, the patient was more likely to detect events on the contralesional side when a simultaneous ipsilesional event was presented within the same, but not different, sensory modality. This perceptual phenomenon, which we refer to as unisensory antiextinction, persisted for several months before transforming into a form of synesthesia in which auditory stimuli produced tactile percepts. Tractography performed on the diffusion tensor imaging data showed altered connections from the lesioned thalamus to the cerebral cortex, suggesting a neural basis for these sensory changes. Interpretation: These results demonstrate a role for the VL in sensory processing and suggest that reorganization of thalamocortical axonal connectivity can lead to major changes in perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-441
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Neurology
Volume62
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007

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Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Emotions
Ventral Thalamic Nuclei
Motor Cortex
Touch
Thalamus
Cerebral Cortex
Cerebellum
Stroke
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Brain
Synesthesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Ro, T., Farnè, A., Johnson, R. M., Van Wedeen, W., Chu, Z., Wang, Z. J., ... Beauchamp, M. S. (2007). Feeling sounds after a thalamic lesion. Annals of Neurology, 62(5), 433-441. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.21219

Feeling sounds after a thalamic lesion. / Ro, Tony; Farnè, Alessandro; Johnson, Ruth M.; Van Wedeen, Wedeen; Chu, Zili; Wang, Zhiyue J.; Hunter, Jill V.; Beauchamp, Michael S.

In: Annals of Neurology, Vol. 62, No. 5, 11.2007, p. 433-441.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ro, T, Farnè, A, Johnson, RM, Van Wedeen, W, Chu, Z, Wang, ZJ, Hunter, JV & Beauchamp, MS 2007, 'Feeling sounds after a thalamic lesion', Annals of Neurology, vol. 62, no. 5, pp. 433-441. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.21219
Ro T, Farnè A, Johnson RM, Van Wedeen W, Chu Z, Wang ZJ et al. Feeling sounds after a thalamic lesion. Annals of Neurology. 2007 Nov;62(5):433-441. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.21219
Ro, Tony ; Farnè, Alessandro ; Johnson, Ruth M. ; Van Wedeen, Wedeen ; Chu, Zili ; Wang, Zhiyue J. ; Hunter, Jill V. ; Beauchamp, Michael S. / Feeling sounds after a thalamic lesion. In: Annals of Neurology. 2007 ; Vol. 62, No. 5. pp. 433-441.
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