Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is an increasingly popular non-invasive tool used to record, on a millisecond timescale, the magnetic field changes generated by cortical neural activity. MEG has the advantage, over fMRI for example, that it is a direct measure of neural activity. In the current investigation we used MEG to measure cortical responses to tactile and auditory stimuli in the macaque monkey. We had two aims. First, we sought to determine whether MEG, a technique that may have low spatial accuracy, could be used to distinguish the location and organization of sensory cortical fields in macaque monkeys, a species with a relatively small brain compared to that of the human. Second, we wanted to examine the temporal dynamics of cortical responses in the macaque monkey relative to the human. We recorded MEG data from anesthetized monkeys and, for comparison, from awake humans that were presented with simple tactile and auditory stimuli. Neural source reconstruction of MEG data showed that primary somatosensory and auditory cortex could be differentiated and, further, that separate representations of the digit and lip within somatosensory cortex could be identified in macaque monkeys as well as humans. We compared the latencies of activity from monkey and human data for the three stimulation types and proposed a correspondence between the neural responses of the two species. We thus demonstrate the feasibility of using MEG in the macaque monkey and provide a non-human primate model for examining the relationship between external evoked magnetic fields and their underlying neural sources.
Bibliographical note© 2010, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Zumer, JM., Nagarajan, SS., Krubitzer, LA., Zhu, Z., Turner, RS., & Disbrow, EA. (2010). MEG in the macaque monkey and human: distinguishing cortical fields in space and time. Brain Research, 1345, 110-124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2010.05.037