Mixed spatial and movement representations in the primate posterior parietal cortex

Kostas Hadjidimitrakis, Sophia Bakola, Yan T. Wong, Maureen A. Hagan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) of humans and non-human primates plays a key role in the sensory and motor transformations required to guide motor actions to objects of interest in the environment. Despite decades of research, the anatomical and functional organization of this region is still a matter of contention. It is generally accepted that specialized parietal subregions and their functional counterparts in the frontal cortex participate in distinct segregated networks related to eye, arm and hand movements. However, experimental evidence obtained primarily from single neuron recording studies in non-human primates has demonstrated a rich mixing of signals processed by parietal neurons, calling into question ideas for a strict functional specialization. Here, we present a brief account of this line of research together with the basic trends in the anatomical connectivity patterns of the parietal subregions. We review, the evidence related to the functional communication between subregions of the PPC and describe progress towards using parietal neuron activity in neuroprosthetic applications. Recent literature suggests a role for the PPC not as a constellation of specialized functional subdomains, but as a dynamic network of sensorimotor loci that combine multiple signals and work in concert to guide motor behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Neural Circuits
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Eye movements
  • Grasping
  • Movement planning
  • Posterior parietal cortex
  • PPC
  • Reaching

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