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Neuron. 2007 Jan 4;53(1):9-16.

From thought to action: the parietal cortex as a bridge between perception, action, and cognition.

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Center for Neurobiology and Behavior and Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


The lateral intraparietal area (LIP) is a subdivision of the inferior parietal lobe that has been implicated in the guidance of spatial attention. In a variety of tasks, LIP provides a "salience representation" of the external world-a topographic visual representation that encodes the locations of salient or behaviorally relevant objects. Recent neurophysiological experiments show that this salience representation incorporates information about multiple behavioral variables-such as a specific motor response, reward, or category membership-associated with the task-relevant object. This integration occurs in a wide variety of tasks, including those requiring eye or limb movements or goal-directed or nontargeting operant responses. Thus, LIP acts as a multifaceted behavioral integrator that binds visuospatial, motor, and cognitive information into a topographically organized signal of behavioral salience. By specifying attentional priority as a synthesis of multiple task demands, LIP operates at the interface of perception, action, and cognition.

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