The representation of egocentric space in the posterior parietal cortex

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15 (4):691-700 (1992)
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The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is the most likely site where egocentric spatial relationships are represented in the brain. PPC cells receive visual, auditory, somaesthetic, and vestibular sensory inputs; oculomotor, head, limb, and body motor signals; and strong motivational projections from the limbic system. Their discharge increases not only when an animal moves towards a sensory target, but also when it directs its attention to it. PPC lesions have the opposite effect: sensory inattention and neglect. The PPC does not seem to contain a “map” of the location of objects in space but a distributed neural network for transforming one set of sensory vectors into other sensory reference frames or into various motor coordinate systems. Which set of transformation rules is used probably depends on attention, which selectively enhances the synapses needed for making a particular sensory comparison or aiming a particular movement.



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