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J Neurophysiol. 2006 Mar;95(3):1645-55. Epub 2005 Nov 16.

Directional selectivity of BOLD activity in human posterior parietal cortex for memory-guided double-step saccades.

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Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information, Radboud University Nijmegen, NL-6500 HE, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the role of the human posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in storing target locations for delayed double-step saccades. To do so, we exploited the laterality of a subregion of PPC that preferentially responds to the memory of a target location presented in the contralateral visual field. Using an event-related design, we tracked fMRI signal changes in this region while subjects remembered the locations of two sequentially flashed targets, presented in either the same or different visual hemifields, and then saccaded to them in sequence. After presentation of the first target, the fMRI signal was always related to the side of the visual field in which it had been presented. When the second target was added, the cortical activity depended on the respective locations of both targets but was still significantly selective for the target of the first saccade. We conclude that this region within the human posterior parietal cortex not only acts as spatial storage center by retaining target locations for subsequent saccades but is also involved in selecting the target for the first intended saccade.

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