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Multimodal integration for the representation of space in the posterior parietal cortex
 

Summary: Multimodal integration for the representation of space in
the posterior parietal cortex
RICHARD A. ANDERSEN
Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA
SUMMARY
The posterior parietal cortex has long been considered an`association'area that combines information from
diĦerent sensory modalities to form a cognitive representation of space. However, until recently little has
been known about the neural mechanisms responsible for this important cognitive process. Recent experi-
ments from the author's laboratory indicate that visual, somatosensory, auditory and vestibular signals are
combined in areas LIP and 7a of the posterior parietal cortex. The integration of these signals can repre-
sent the locations of stimuli with respect to the observer and within the environment. Area MSTd combines
visual motion signals, similar to those generated during an observer's movement through the environment,
with eye-movement and vestibular signals. This integration appears to play a role in specifying the path on
which the observer is moving. All three cortical areas combine diĦerent modalities into common spatial
frames by using a gain-˘eld mechanism. The spatial representations in areas LIP and 7a appear to be
important for specifying the locations of targets for actions such as eye movements or reaching; the
spatial representation within area MSTd appears to be important for navigation and the perceptual stabi-
lity of motion signals.
1. INTRODUCTION
The posterior parietal cortex and the hippocampus are

  

Source: Andersen, Richard - Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine