The effective connectivity of neuronal networks during orofacial pneumotactile stimulation with different velocities is still unknown. The present study aims to characterize the effectivity connectivity elicited by three different saltatory velocities (5, 25, and 65 cm/s) over the lower face using dynamic causal modeling on functional magnetic resonance imaging data of twenty neurotypical adults. Our results revealed the contralateral SI and SII as the most likely sources of the driving inputs within the sensorimotor network for the pneumotactile stimuli, suggesting parallel processing of the orofacial pneumotactile stimuli. The 25 cm/s pneumotactile stimuli modulated forward interhemispheric connection from the contralateral SII to the ipsilateral SII, suggesting a serial interhemispheric connection between the bilateral SII. Moreover, the velocity pneumotactile stimuli influenced the contralateral M1 through both contralateral SI and SII, indicating that passive pneumotactile stimulation may positively impact motor function rehabilitation. Furthermore, the slow velocity 5 cm/s pneumotactile stimuli modulated both forward and backward connections between the right cerebellar lobule VI and the contralateral left SI, SII, and M1, while the medium velocity 25 cm/s pneumotactile stimuli modulated both forward and backward connections between the right cerebellar lobule VI and the contralateral left SI and M1. Our findings suggest that the right cerebellar lobule VI plays a role in the sensorimotor network through feedforward and feedback neuronal pathways.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience