Parietal cortex is central to spatial cognition. Lesions of parietal cortex often lead to hemispatial neglect, an impairment of choices of targets in space. It has been unclear whether parietal cortex implements target choice at the general cognitive level, or whether parietal cortex subserves the choice of targets of particular actions. To address this question, monkeys engaged in choice tasks in two distinct action contexts - eye movements and arm movements. We placed focused reversible lesions into specific parietal circuits using the GABAA receptor agonist muscimol and validated the lesion placement using MRI. We found that lesions on the lateral bank of the intraparietal sulcus [lateral intraparietal area (LIP)] specifically biased choices made using eye movements, whereas lesions on the medial bank of the intraparietal sulcus [parietal reach region (PRR)] specifically biased choices made using arm movements. This double dissociation suggests that target choice is implemented in dedicated parietal circuits in the context of specific actions. This finding emphasizes a motor role of parietal cortex in spatial choice making and contributes to our understanding of hemispatial neglect.
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Apr 21 2015|
- Spatial cognition