Open access peer-reviewed Edited Volume

Sensory Nervous System - Computational Neuroimaging Investigations of Topographical Organization in Human Sensory Cortex

Alyssa Brewer

University of California, Irvine

Dr. Brewer is a Stanford-trained physician-scientist, tenured Associate Professor at UC Irvine, and Director of the mind space Lab, who uses cutting-edge computational neuroimaging to study the organization and plasticity of the human sensory cortex.


Brian Barton

University of California, Irvine

Dr. Barton is a UCI-trained cognitive scientist who has pioneered the study of auditory field maps in the human cortex and currently focuses his research on computational neuroimaging measurements of audiovisual cortical processing and organization.


Visual Processing Visual Field Map Auditory Cortex Organization Auditory Processing Somatosensory Cortex Organization Somatotopy Chemotopic Tonotopic Organization Odorant Topography Cortical Plasticity Multisensory Integration Retinotopy Tonotopy

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About the book

Topographical representations of sensory information – termed cortical field maps (CFMs) – are emerging as a fundamental organizational pattern for perceptual processing across the sensory cortex in numerous mammalian species. In humans, the historically most-studied sensory topography is the representation of visual space in the visual system, called a visual field map. More recent studies have revealed similar maps of auditory feature space – auditory field maps – in the human auditory cortex, and partial topographies in somatosensory, gustatory, and olfactory cortices, suggesting that CFMs serve as the building blocks of sensory processing. Such organized topographies within sensory pathways are thought to support the comparison and combination of the information carried by the various specialized neuronal populations. The orderly connectivity arising from such an organization is likely important for increasing the efficiency of such local processes like lateral inhibition and gain control and may provide a framework for sensory processing across the sensory hierarchy. In addition, understanding the organization of these maps provides a baseline for studying reorganization following abnormal development or cortical damage and for tracking cortical recovery during medical interventions and rehabilitation.

Computational neuroimaging currently provides the best approach for studying such cortical organization in vivo in humans. By taking advantage of our knowledge of the organization of sensory input, multiple cortical representations of sensory space can be measured using high-resolution functional MRI and cutting-edge computational analyses such as population receptive field modeling. This proposed book will be composed of a series of computational neuroimaging studies of the human sensory cortex that capitalize on our ability to measure these cortical field maps with a high level of detail in individual subjects. The chapters will examine our current understanding of how sensory information is represented across the human cortex devoted to each of our five primary senses as well as our progress towards translating these fundamental research findings into updates for clinical interventions for sensory damage or disease.

Publishing process

Book initiated and editor appointed

Date completed: October 8th 2021

Applications to edit the book are assessed and a suitable editor is selected, at which point the process begins.

Chapter proposals submitted and reviewed

Deadline for chapter proposals: November 5th 2021

Potential authors submit chapter proposals ready for review by the academic editor and our publishing review team.

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Approved chapters written in full and submitted

Deadline for full chapters: January 4th 2022

Once approved by the academic editor and publishing review team, chapters are written and submitted according to pre-agreed parameters

Full chapters peer reviewed

Review results due: March 25th 2022

Full chapter manuscripts are screened for plagiarism and undergo a Main Editor Peer Review. Results are sent to authors within 30 days of submission, with suggestions for rounds of revisions.

Book compiled, published and promoted

Expected publication date: May 24th 2022

All chapters are copy-checked and typesetted before being published. IntechOpen regularly submits its books to major databases for evaluation and coverage, including the Clarivate Analytics Book Citation Index in the Web of ScienceTM Core Collection. Other discipline-specific databases are also targeted, such as Web of Science's BIOSIS Previews.

About the editor

Alyssa Brewer

University of California, Irvine

Dr. Alyssa A. Brewer completed her undergraduate degrees at Stanford University, with a B.S. with Honors in Biological Sciences and an A.B. in Comparative Literature with interdisciplinary Honors in Humanities. She continued on at Stanford in a dual-degree graduate program, graduating with an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2007. Her work in graduate school with Brian Wandell, Ph.D., focused on computational neuroimaging measurements of visual cortex organization and plasticity in humans and macaque. She now is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Cognitive Sciences and Language Science, by courtesy, at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Brewer’s research focuses on visual, auditory, and multi-sensory neuroscience, using behavioral, genetic, and high-resolution neuroimaging techniques to investigate questions ranging from the fundamental organization of human visual and auditory cortex to plasticity in visual, auditory, and sensorimotor regions.

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