In monkeys, areas in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) play a crucial role in visuospatial information processing. Despite many human neuroimaging studies, the location of the human functional homologs of some IPS areas is still a matter of debate. The aim of the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to identify the distinct locations of specific human IPS areas based on their functional properties using stimuli adapted from nonhuman primate experiments, in particular, surface orientation discrimination and memory guided saccadic eye movements (SEM). Intersubject anatomical variability likely accounts for much of the debate. By applying subject by subject analysis, we can demonstrate that sufficient intersubject anatomical and functional commonalities exist. Both the lateral bank of the anterior part of IPS, the putative human homolog of the area AIP, and the caudal part of the IPS (putative CIP) showed activation related to spatial discrimination of surface orientation. Eye tracking conducted during fMRI data acquisition allowed us to show that both areas were separated by an area related to SEM. This area was located in the middle region of the IPS (most probably including LIP), i.e., similar to the location observed in nonhuman primates. In 10 of 11 subjects our putative CIP activation was located in a medial side branch of the posterior part of the IPS, on the opposite side as described in nonhuman primates, making this landmark a useful anatomical marker for the location of CIP.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)