The goal of this proposal is to determine the mechanisms that mediate the extensive reactivations of somatosensory cortex and the return of hand use after large lesions of cutaneous receptor afferents in the dorsal columns of the spinal cord. Our experiments will determine if new connections are formed in the post- lesion somatosensory system, if a promising treatment with an enzyme promotes useful new connections, and if reactivated neurons in somatosensory cortex have response properties to touch on the hand that would usefully guide tactile behavior.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of our project is to better understand how individuals recover after extensive brain damage to the nervous system, and if certain treatments promote useful recoveries. We expect that our results, based on spinal cord injury, will apply broadly in understanding how the human nervous system recovers from injuries, and suggest clinical applications that would improve recoveries.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Somatosensory and Chemosensory Systems Study Section (SCS)
Program Officer
Gnadt, James W
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Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Anatomy/Cell Biology
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Stepniewska, Iwona; Gharbawie, Omar A; Burish, Mark J et al. (2014) Effects of muscimol inactivations of functional domains in motor, premotor, and posterior parietal cortex on complex movements evoked by electrical stimulation. J Neurophysiol 111:1100-19
Molnár, Zoltán; Kaas, Jon H; de Carlos, Juan A et al. (2014) Evolution and development of the mammalian cerebral cortex. Brain Behav Evol 83:126-39
Qi, Hui-Xin; Reed, Jamie L; Gharbawie, Omar A et al. (2014) Cortical neuron response properties are related to lesion extent and behavioral recovery after sensory loss from spinal cord injury in monkeys. J Neurosci 34:4345-63
Yang, Pai-Feng; Qi, Hui-Xin; Kaas, Jon H et al. (2014) Parallel functional reorganizations of somatosensory areas 3b and 1, and S2 following spinal cord injury in squirrel monkeys. J Neurosci 34:9351-63
Cerkevich, Christina M; Qi, Hui-Xin; Kaas, Jon H (2014) Corticocortical projections to representations of the teeth, tongue, and face in somatosensory area 3b of macaques. J Comp Neurol 522:546-72
Qi, Hui-Xin; Gharbawie, Omar A; Wynne, Katherine W et al. (2013) Impairment and recovery of hand use after unilateral section of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord in squirrel monkeys. Behav Brain Res 252:363-76
Kaas, Jon H (2013) The Evolution of Brains from Early Mammals to Humans. Wiley Interdiscip Rev Cogn Sci 4:33-45
Young, Nicole A; Collins, Christine E; Kaas, Jon H (2013) Cell and neuron densities in the primary motor cortex of primates. Front Neural Circuits 7:30
Collins, C E; Leitch, D B; Wong, P et al. (2013) Faster scaling of visual neurons in cortical areas relative to subcortical structures in non-human primate brains. Brain Struct Funct 218:805-16
Liao, Chia-Chi; Gharbawie, Omar A; Qi, Huixin et al. (2013) Cortical connections to single digit representations in area 3b of somatosensory cortex in squirrel monkeys and prosimian galagos. J Comp Neurol 521:3768-90

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