Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e20742. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020742. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Activation in a frontoparietal cortical network underlies individual differences in the performance of an embedded figures task.

Author information

Department of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, United States of America.


The Embedded Figures Test (EFT) requires observers to search for a simple geometric shape hidden inside a more complex figure. Surprisingly, performance in the EFT is negatively correlated with susceptibility to illusions of spatial orientation, such as the Roelofs effect. Using fMRI, we previously demonstrated that regions in parietal cortex are involved in the contextual processing associated with the Roelofs task. In the present study, we found that similar parietal regions (superior parietal cortex and precuneus) were more active during the EFT than during a simple matching task. Importantly, these parietal activations overlapped with regions found to be involved during contextual processing in the Roelofs illusion. Additional parietal and frontal areas, in the right hemisphere, showed strong correlations between brain activity and behavioral performance during the search task. We propose that the posterior parietal regions are necessary for processing contextual information across many different, but related visuospatial tasks, with additional parietal and frontal regions serving to coordinate this processing in participants proficient in the task.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center