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Keywords:

  • post-task effect;
  • resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging;
  • sensorimotor cortex;
  • somatotopic;
  • task-based

Abstract

Task-based functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been successfully employed to obtain somatotopic maps of the human sensorimotor cortex. Here, we showed through direct comparison that a similar functional map can be obtained, independently of a task, by performing a connectivity-based parcellation of the sensorimotor cortex based on resting-state fMRI. Cortex corresponding to two adjacent Brodmann areas (BA 3 and BA 4) was selected as the sensorimotor area. Parcellation was obtained along a medial–lateral axis, which was confirmed to be somatotopic (corresponding roughly to an upper, middle and lower limb, respectively) by comparing it with maps obtained using motoric task-based fMRI in the same participants. Interestingly, the resting-state parcellation map demonstrated higher correspondence to the task-based divisions after individuals performed the motor task. Using the resting-state fMRI data, we also observed higher functional correlations between the centrally located hand region and the other two regions, than between the foot and tongue. The functional relevance of these somatosensory parcellation results indicates the feasibility of a wide range of potential applications to brain mapping.