Developmental Science

Skip to Search

Skip to Navigation

Volume 22 Issue 1 (January 2019), Pages

Neural representations of the body in 60‐day‐old human infants

Abstract The organization of body representations in the adult brain has been well documented. Little is understood about this aspect of brain organization in human infancy. The current study employed electroencephalography (EEG) with 60‐day‐old infants to test the distribution of brain responses to tactile stimulation of three different body parts: hand, foot, and lip. Analyses focused on a prominent positive response occurring at 150–200 ms in the somatosensory evoked potential at central and parietal electrode sites. The results show differential electrophysiological signatures for touch of these three body parts. Stimulation of the left hand was associated with greater positive amplitude over the lateral central region contralateral to the side stimulated. Left foot stimulation was associated with greater positivity over the midline parietal site. Stimulation of the midline of the upper lip was associated with a strong bilateral response over the central region. These findings provide new insights into the neural representation of the body in infancy and shed light on research and theories about the involvement of somatosensory cortex in infant imitation and social perception.

Add This link

Bookmark and Share>