Role of the posterior parietal cortex in updating reaching movements to a visual target

Nat Neurosci. 1999 Jun;2(6):563-7. doi: 10.1038/9219.


The exact role of posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in visually directed reaching is unknown. We propose that, by building an internal representation of instantaneous hand location, PPC computes a dynamic motor error used by motor centers to correct the ongoing trajectory. With unseen right hands, five subjects pointed to visual targets that either remained stationary or moved during saccadic eye movements. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied over the left PPC during target presentation. Stimulation disrupted path corrections that normally occur in response to target jumps, but had no effect on those directed at stationary targets. Furthermore, left-hand movement corrections were not blocked, ruling out visual or oculomotor effects of stimulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetics
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology