Cutaneous stimulation evokes a set of neuronal responses that are tightly coordinated across the different levels of the somatosensory system. Cross-correlation analysis indicates that the relative timing and strength of neuronal interactions between successive levels of the brain stem, thalamus, and cerebral cortex are consistent with the topographical organization and other anatomical features of the somatosensory circuits. Although constrained by its anatomical connections, the circuit operations of the somatosensory system are dynamic. Consequently, the functional strength of the connections between brain regions or between specific pairs of neurons can fluctuate with changes in stimulation, neuronal bursting, corticofugal processing, and other factors.
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