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Nat Neurosci. 2000 Mar;3(3):292-7.

Voluntary orienting is dissociated from target detection in human posterior parietal cortex.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurological Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 4525 Scott Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.

Erratum in

  • Nat Neurosci 2000 May;3(5):521.


Human ability to attend to visual stimuli based on their spatial locations requires the parietal cortex. One hypothesis maintains that parietal cortex controls the voluntary orienting of attention toward a location of interest. Another hypothesis emphasizes its role in reorienting attention toward visual targets appearing at unattended locations. Here, using event-related functional magnetic resonance (ER-fMRI), we show that distinct parietal regions mediated these different attentional processes. Cortical activation occurred primarily in the intraparietal sulcus when a location was attended before visual-target presentation, but in the right temporoparietal junction when the target was detected, particularly at an unattended location.

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