Beyond language: The unspoken sensory-motor representation of the tongue in non-primates, non-human and human primates

Davide Bono, Michel Belyk, Matthew R. Longo, Frederic Dick*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
67 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The English idiom “on the tip of my tongue” commonly acknowledges that something is known, but it cannot be immediately brought to mind. This phrase accurately describes sensorimotor functions of the tongue, which are fundamental for many tongue-related behaviors (e.g., speech), but often neglected by scientific research. Here, we review a wide range of studies conducted on non-primates, non-human and human primates with the aim of providing a comprehensive description of the cortical representation of the tongue's somatosensory inputs and motor outputs across different phylogenetic domains. First, we summarize how the properties of passive non-noxious mechanical stimuli are encoded in the putative somatosensory tongue area, which has a conserved location in the ventral portion of the somatosensory cortex across mammals. Second, we review how complex self-generated actions involving the tongue are represented in more anterior regions of the putative somato-motor tongue area. Finally, we describe multisensory response properties of the primate and non-primate tongue area by also defining how the cytoarchitecture of this area is affected by experience and deafferentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104730
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume139
Early online date9 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Comparative neuroscience
  • Cortical representation
  • Neural plasticity
  • Sensorimotor control
  • Tongue

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