A Caltech Library Service

Human Posterior Parietal Cortex Plans Where to Reach and What to Avoid

Lindner, Axel and Iyer, Asha and Kagan, Igor and Andersen, Richard A. (2010) Human Posterior Parietal Cortex Plans Where to Reach and What to Avoid. Journal of Neuroscience, 30 (35). pp. 11715-11725. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC2956133. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2849-09.2010.

PDF - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

PDF - Supplemental Material
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


In this time-resolved functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we aimed to trace the neuronal correlates of covert planning processes that precede visually guided motor behavior. Specifically, we asked whether human posterior parietal cortex has prospective planning activity that can be distinguished from activity related to retrospective visual memory and attention. Although various electrophysiological studies in monkeys have demonstrated such motor planning at the level of parietal neurons, comparatively little support is provided by recent human imaging experiments. Rather, a majority of experiments highlights a role of human posterior parietal cortex in visual working memory and attention. We thus sought to establish a clear separation of visual memory and attention from processes related to the planning of goal-directed motor behaviors. To this end, we compared delayed-response tasks with identical mnemonic and attentional demands but varying degrees of motor planning. Subjects memorized multiple target locations, and in a random subset of trials targets additionally instructed (1) desired goals or (2) undesired goals for upcoming finger reaches. Compared with the memory/attention-only conditions, both latter situations led to a specific increase of preparatory fMRI activity in posterior parietal and dorsal premotor cortex. Thus, posterior parietal cortex has prospective plans for upcoming behaviors while considering both types of targets relevant for action: those to be acquired and those to be avoided.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle CentralArticle
Lindner, Axel0000-0002-8201-788X
Kagan, Igor0000-0002-1814-4200
Andersen, Richard A.0000-0002-7947-0472
Additional Information:© 2010 the authors. Received June 16, 2009; revised April 15, 2010; accepted June 27, 2010. This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Boswell Foundation. We thank all members of the Andersen Laboratory for their support, in particular Alexander Gail and Hilary Glidden for stimulating discussions and Viktor Shcherbatyuk for computer support. Moreover, we are grateful for all assistance provided by the staff of the Caltech Brain Imaging Center: Shawn Wagner, Daniele Procissi, Steve Flaherty, and Mary Martin.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Boswell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:35
PubMed Central ID:PMC2956133
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100928-110318661
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:20190
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Sep 2010 19:53
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 23:57

Repository Staff Only: item control page