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Neuroimage. 2009 Jul 15;46(4):1114-26. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.03.023. Epub 2009 Mar 19.

Parietal regions processing visual 3D shape extracted from disparity.

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Laboratorium voor Neuro- en Psychofysiologie, KU Leuven Medical School, Leuven, Belgium.


Three-dimensional (3D) shape is important for the visual control of grasping and manipulation. We used fMRI to study the processing of 3D shape extracted from disparity in human parietal cortex. Subjects stereoscopically viewed random-line stimuli portraying a 3D structure, a 2D structure in multiple depth planes or a 2D structure in the fixation plane. Subtracting the second from the first condition yields depth-structure sensitive regions and subtracting the third from the second position-in-depth sensitive regions. Two anterior intraparietal sulcus (IPS) regions, the dorsal IPS medial (DIPSM) and the dorsal IPS anterior (DIPSA) regions, were sensitive to depth structure and not to position in depth, while a posterior IPS region, the ventral IPS (VIPS) region, had a mixed sensitivity. All three IPS regions were also sensitive to 2D shape, indicating that they carry full 3D shape information. Finally DIPSM, but not DIPSA was sensitive to a saccade-related task. These results underscore the importance of anterior IPS regions in the processing of 3D shape, in agreement with their proximity to grasping-related regions. Moreover, comparison with the results of Durand, J.B., Nelissen, K., Joly, O., Wardak, C., Todd, J.T., Norman, J.F., Janssen, P., Vanduffel, W., Orban, G.A., 2007. Anterior Regions of Monkey Parietal Cortex Process Visual 3D Shape. Neuron 55, 493-505 obtained in the monkey indicates that DIPSA and DIPSM may represent human homologues for the posterior part of AIP and the adjoining part of LIP respectively.

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