Modality-specific frontal and parietal areas for auditory and visual spatial localization in humans

Nat Neurosci. 1999 Aug;2(8):759-66. doi: 10.1038/11239.


Although the importance of the posterior parietal and prefrontal regions in spatial localization of visual stimuli is well established, their role in auditory space perception is less clear. Using positron emission tomography (PET) during auditory and visual spatial localization in the same subjects, modality-specific areas were identified in the superior parietal lobule, middle temporal and lateral prefrontal cortices. These findings suggest that, similar to the visual system, the hierarchical organization of the auditory system extends beyond the temporal lobe to include areas in the posterior parietal and prefrontal regions specialized in auditory spatial processing. Our results may explain the dissociation of visual and auditory spatial localization deficits following lesions involving these regions.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Sound Localization / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Visual Perception / physiology*