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The Continuous Wagon Wheel Illusion and the ‘When’ Pathway of the Right Parietal Lobe: A Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Study  [PDF]
Rufin VanRullen, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Lorella Battelli
PLOS ONE , 2008, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002911
Abstract: A continuous periodic motion stimulus can sometimes be perceived moving in the wrong direction. These illusory reversals have been taken as evidence that part of the motion perception system samples its inputs as a series of discrete snapshots –although other explanations of the phenomenon have been proposed, that rely on the spurious activation of low-level motion detectors in early visual areas. We have hypothesized that the right inferior parietal lobe (‘when’ pathway) plays a critical role in timing perceptual events relative to one another, and thus we examined the role of the right parietal lobe in the generation of this “continuous Wagon Wheel Illusion” (c-WWI). Consistent with our hypothesis, we found that the illusion was effectively weakened following disruption of right, but not left, parietal regions by low frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (1 Hz, 10 min). These results were independent of whether the motion stimulus was shown in the left or the right visual field. Thus, the c-WWI appears to depend on higher-order attentional mechanisms that are supported by the ‘when’ pathway of the right parietal lobe.
Recency Effects in the Inferior Parietal Lobe during Verbal Recognition Memory  [PDF]
Bradley R. Buchsbaum,Donald Ye,Mark D’Esposito
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience , 2011, DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00059
Abstract: The most recently encountered information is often most easily remembered in psychological tests of memory. Recent investigations of the neural basis of such “recency effects” have shown that activation in the lateral inferior parietal cortex (LIPC) tracks the recency of a probe item when subjects make recognition memory judgments. A key question regarding recency effects in the LIPC is whether they fundamentally reflect the storage (and strength) of information in memory, or whether such effects are a consequence of task difficulty or an upswing in resting state network activity. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we show that recency effects in the LIPC are independent of the difficulty of recognition memory decisions, that they are not a by-product of an increase in resting state network activity, and that they appear to dissociate from regions known to be involved in verbal working memory maintenance. We conclude with a discussion of two alternative explanations – the memory strength and “expectancy” hypotheses, respectively – of the parietal lobe recency effect.
Sleep Dissolves Illusion: Sleep Withstands Learning of Visuo-Tactile-Proprioceptive Integration Induced by Repeated Days of Rubber Hand Illusion Training  [PDF]
Motoyasu Honma, Takuya Yoshiike, Hiroki Ikeda, Yoshiharu Kim, Kenichi Kuriyama
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085734
Abstract: Multisensory integration is a key factor in establishing bodily self-consciousness and in adapting humans to novel environments. The rubber hand illusion paradigm, in which humans can immediately perceive illusory ownership to an artificial hand, is a traditional technique for investigating multisensory integration and the feeling of illusory ownership. However, the long-term learning properties of the rubber hand illusion have not been previously investigated. Moreover, although sleep contributes to various aspects of cognition, including learning and memory, its influence on illusory learning of the artificial hand has not yet been assessed. We determined the effects of daily repetitive training and sleep on learning visuo-tactile-proprioceptive sensory integration and illusory ownership in healthy adult participants by using the traditional rubber hand illusion paradigm. Subjective ownership of the rubber hand, proprioceptive drift, and galvanic skin response were measured to assess learning indexes. Subjective ownership was maintained and proprioceptive drift increased with daily training. Proprioceptive drift, but not subjective ownership, was significantly attenuated after sleep. A significantly greater reduction in galvanic skin response was observed after wakefulness compared to after sleep. Our results suggest that although repetitive rubber hand illusion training facilitates multisensory integration and physiological habituation of a multisensory incongruent environment, sleep corrects illusional integration and habituation based on experiences in a multisensory incongruent environment. These findings may increase our understanding of adaptive neural processes to novel environments, specifically, bodily self-consciousness and sleep-dependent neuroplasticity.
Behavioral and Electrophysiological Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation of the Parietal Cortex in a Visuo-Spatial Working Memory Task  [PDF]
T. Zaehle
Frontiers in Psychiatry , 2012, DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2012.00056
Abstract: Impairments of working memory (WM) performance are frequent concomitant symptoms in several psychiatric and neurologic diseases. Despite the great advance in treating the reduced WM abilities in patients suffering from, e.g., Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease by means of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), the exact neurophysiological underpinning subserving these therapeutic tDCS-effects are still unknown. In the present study we investigated the impact of tDCS on performance in a visuo-spatial WM task and its underlying neural activity. In three experimental sessions, participants performed a delayed matching-to-sample WM task after sham, anodal, and cathodal tDCS over the right parietal cortex. The results showed that tDCS modulated WM performance and its underlying electrophysiological brain activity in a polarity-specific way. Parietal tDCS altered event-related potentials and oscillatory power in the alpha band at posterior electrode sites. The present study demonstrates that posterior tDCS can alter visuo-spatial WM performance by modulating the underlying neural activity. This result can be considered an important step toward a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in tDCS-induced modulations of cognitive processing. This is of particular importance for the application of electrical brain stimulation as a therapeutic treatment of neuropsychiatric deficits in clinical populations.
Neuronal Chains for Actions in the Parietal Lobe: A Computational Model  [PDF]
Fabian Chersi, Pier Francesco Ferrari, Leonardo Fogassi
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027652
Abstract: The inferior part of the parietal lobe (IPL) is known to play a very important role in sensorimotor integration. Neurons in this region code goal-related motor acts performed with the mouth, with the hand and with the arm. It has been demonstrated that most IPL motor neurons coding a specific motor act (e.g., grasping) show markedly different activation patterns according to the final goal of the action sequence in which the act is embedded (grasping for eating or grasping for placing). Some of these neurons (parietal mirror neurons) show a similar selectivity also during the observation of the same action sequences when executed by others. Thus, it appears that the neuronal response occurring during the execution and the observation of a specific grasping act codes not only the executed motor act, but also the agent's final goal (intention). In this work we present a biologically inspired neural network architecture that models mechanisms of motor sequences execution and recognition. In this network, pools composed of motor and mirror neurons that encode motor acts of a sequence are arranged in form of action goal-specific neuronal chains. The execution and the recognition of actions is achieved through the propagation of activity bursts along specific chains modulated by visual and somatosensory inputs. The implemented spiking neuron network is able to reproduce the results found in neurophysiological recordings of parietal neurons during task performance and provides a biologically plausible implementation of the action selection and recognition process. Finally, the present paper proposes a mechanism for the formation of new neural chains by linking together in a sequential manner neurons that represent subsequent motor acts, thus producing goal-directed sequences.
Somatosensory aura in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy: semiologic characteristics, MRI findings and differential diagnosis with parietal lobe epilepsy
Rahal, Márcio Andriani;Araújo Filho, Gerardo Maria de;Caboclo, Luís Otávio Sales Ferreira;Rosa, Vivianne Pellegrino;Centeno, Ricardo da Silva;Carrete Jr, Henrique;Garzon, Eliana;Sakamoto, Américo Ceiki;Yacubian, Elza Márcia Targas;
Journal of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology , 2006, DOI: 10.1590/S1676-26492006000500008
Abstract: introduction: somatosensory auras (ssas) are more usually described in patients with parietal lobe epilepsy (ple), producing more commonly a localized cutaneous tingling sensation, involving hands and fingers followed by tonic or clonic focal seizures. these usually originate in the contralateral hemisphere. etiology includes dysplasias, tumours, ischemic or postencephalitic gliosis. however, other focal epilepsies, such as frontal and temporal, may also originate ssas. although this type of aura is reported as rare in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mtle), this association has not been systematically studied. objectives: the aim of this article was to describe the cases of four patients with refractory mtle and ssas, reporting their clinical characteristics and mri findings. we discuss the localizing and lateralizing value of ssas, particularly in the context of mtle. methods and results: four patients with refractory mtle and ssas followed-up in the outpatient's clinic at the epilepsy section, universidade federal de s?o paulo, were submitted to presurgical evaluation and corticoamygdalohippocampectomy. mri in all cases showed unilateral mesial temporal sclerosis (mts). regarding seizure semiology, tingling sensation involving the upper extremity was the most prevalent symptom. three of the four patients had ssas contralateral to the mts. following the ssas all patients most of the time presented other symptoms such as autonomic or psychic auras evolving to psychomotor seizures. after surgical treatment, two of the patients presented infrequent auras, and two were rendered seizure-free. conclusion: although rare, ssas can be present in mtle. the characteristics of autonomic or psychic auras, psychomotor seizures, neuropsychological deficits, and typical neurophysiologic and mri findings may help differentiate patients with mtle from those with ple.
Elaboration versus Suppression of Cued Memories: Influence of Memory Recall Instruction and Success on Parietal Lobe, Default Network, and Hippocampal Activity  [PDF]
Sarah I. Gimbel, James B. Brewer
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089037
Abstract: Functional imaging studies of episodic memory retrieval consistently report task-evoked and memory-related activity in the medial temporal lobe, default network and parietal lobe subregions. Associated components of memory retrieval, such as attention-shifts, search, retrieval success, and post-retrieval processing also influence regional activity, but these influences remain ill-defined. To better understand how top-down control affects the neural bases of memory retrieval, we examined how regional activity responses were modulated by task goals during recall success or failure. Specifically, activity was examined during memory suppression, recall, and elaborative recall of paired-associates. Parietal lobe was subdivided into dorsal (BA 7), posterior ventral (BA 39), and anterior ventral (BA 40) regions, which were investigated separately to examine hypothesized distinctions in sub-regional functional responses related to differential attention-to-memory and memory strength. Top-down suppression of recall abolished memory strength effects in BA 39, which showed a task-negative response, and BA 40, which showed a task-positive response. The task-negative response in default network showed greater negatively-deflected signal for forgotten pairs when task goals required recall. Hippocampal activity was task-positive and was influenced by memory strength only when task goals required recall. As in previous studies, we show a memory strength effect in parietal lobe and hippocampus, but we show that this effect is top-down controlled and sensitive to whether the subject is trying to suppress or retrieve a memory. These regions are all implicated in memory recall, but their individual activity patterns show distinct memory-strength-related responses when task goals are varied. In parietal lobe, default network, and hippocampus, top-down control can override the commonly identified effects of memory strength.
Magnetoencephalography Study of Right Parietal Lobe Dysfunction of the Evoked Mirror Neuron System in Antipsychotic-Free Schizophrenia  [PDF]
Yutaka Kato, Taro Muramatsu, Motoichiro Kato, Yoshiyuki Shibukawa, Masuro Shintani, Masaru Mimura
PLOS ONE , 2011, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028087
Abstract: Introduction Patients with schizophrenia commonly exhibit deficits of non-verbal communication in social contexts, which may be related to cognitive dysfunction that impairs recognition of biological motion. Although perception of biological motion is known to be mediated by the mirror neuron system, there have been few empirical studies of this system in patients with schizophrenia. Methods Using magnetoencephalography, we examined whether antipsychotic-free schizophrenia patients displayed mirror neuron system dysfunction during observation of biological motion (jaw movement of another individual). Results Compared with normal controls, the patients with schizophrenia had fewer components of both the waveform and equivalent current dipole, suggesting aberrant brain activity resulting from dysfunction of the right inferior parietal cortex. They also lacked the changes of alpha band and gamma band oscillation seen in normal controls, and had weaker phase-locking factors and gamma-synchronization predominantly in right parietal cortex. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate that untreated patients with schizophrenia exhibit aberrant mirror neuron system function based on the right inferior parietal cortex, which is characterized by dysfunction of gamma-synchronization in the right parietal lobe during observation of biological motion.
A Functional Architecture of Optic Flow in the Inferior Parietal Lobule of the Behaving Monkey  [PDF]
Milena Raffi, Ralph M. Siegel
PLOS ONE , 2007, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000200
Abstract: The representation of navigational optic flow across the inferior parietal lobule was assessed using optical imaging of intrinsic signals in behaving monkeys. The exposed cortex, corresponding to the dorsal-most portion of areas 7a and dorsal prelunate (DP), was imaged in two hemispheres of two rhesus monkeys. The monkeys actively attended to changes in motion stimuli while fixating. Radial expansion and contraction, and rotation clockwise and counter-clockwise optic flow stimuli were presented concentric to the fixation point at two angles of gaze to assess the interrelationship between the eye position and optic flow signal. The cortical response depended upon the type of flow and was modulated by eye position. The optic flow selectivity was embedded in a patchy architecture within the gain field architecture. All four optic flow stimuli tested were represented in areas 7a and DP. The location of the patches varied across days. However the spatial periodicity of the patches remained constant across days at ~950 and 1100 μm for the two animals examined. These optical recordings agree with previous electrophysiological studies of area 7a, and provide new evidence for flow selectivity in DP and a fine scale description of its cortical topography. That the functional architectures for optic flow can change over time was unexpected. These and earlier results also from inferior parietal lobule support the inclusion of both static and dynamic functional architectures that define association cortical areas and ultimately support complex cognitive function.
Anatomical Substrates of the Alerting, Orienting and Executive Control Components of Attention: Focus on the Posterior Parietal Lobe  [PDF]
Xuntao Yin, Lu Zhao, Junhai Xu, Alan C. Evans, Lingzhong Fan, Haitao Ge, Yuchun Tang, Budhachandra Khundrakpam, Jian Wang, Shuwei Liu
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050590
Abstract: Both neuropsychological and functional neuroimaging studies have identified that the posterior parietal lobe (PPL) is critical for the attention function. However, the unique role of distinct parietal cortical subregions and their underlying white matter (WM) remains in question. In this study, we collected both magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data in normal participants, and evaluated their attention performance using attention network test (ANT), which could isolate three different attention components: alerting, orienting and executive control. Cortical thickness, surface area and DTI parameters were extracted from predefined PPL subregions and correlated with behavioural performance. Tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) was used for the voxel-wise statistical analysis. Results indicated structure-behaviour relationships on multiple levels. First, a link between the cortical thickness and WM integrity of the right inferior parietal regions and orienting performance was observed. Specifically, probabilistic tractography demonstrated that the integrity of WM connectivity between the bilateral inferior parietal lobules mediated the orienting performance. Second, the scores of executive control were significantly associated with the WM diffusion metrics of the right supramarginal gyrus. Finally, TBSS analysis revealed that alerting performance was significant correlated with the fractional anisotropy of local WM connecting the right thalamus and supplementary motor area. We conclude that distinct areas and features within PPL are associated with different components of attention. These findings could yield a more complete understanding of the nature of the PPL contribution to visuospatial attention.
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