Listening to vibrations

In mammals, physical vibrations in the environment are sensed by Pacinian corpuscles, which in mice forelimbs are located in deep tissue next to bones. Activation of these receptors triggers responses in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Two-photon imaging of the responses of layer 2/3 neurons in the contralateral forelimb S1 to a high-frequency vibrational stimulus showed that S1 spike rates were selectively tuned to stimulus features and specific combinations of frequency and amplitude of vibration. S1 encoding of high-frequency vibration frequency is similar to sound pitch representation in auditory cortex.


Original article

  1. Prsa, M. et al. Feature-selective encoding of substrate vibrations in the forelimb somatosensory cortex. Nature 567, 384–388 (2019)

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Sian Lewis.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Lewis, S. Listening to vibrations. Nat Rev Neurosci 20, 252 (2019).

Download citation