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Neuron. 2002 Jul 3;35(1):195-204.

Tracking the mind's image in the brain II: transcranial magnetic stimulation reveals parietal asymmetry in visuospatial imagery.

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Department of Psychiatry, Laboratory for Neurophysiology and Neuroimaging, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universit├Ąt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, DE-60590 Frankfurt, Germany.


The functional relevance of brain activity during visuospatial tasks was investigated by combining functional magnetic resonance imaging with unilateral repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). The cognitive tasks involved visuospatial operations on visually presented and mentally imagined material ("mental clock task"). While visuospatial operations were associated with activation of the intraparietal sulcus region bilaterally, only the group which received rTMS to the right parietal lobe showed an impairment of performance during and immediately after rTMS. This functional parietal asymmetry might indicate a capacity of the right parietal lobe to compensate for a temporary suppression of the left. This is compatible with current theories of spatial hemineglect and constitutes a constraint for models of distributed information processing in the parietal lobes.

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