Functional anatomy of top-down visuospatial processing in the human brain: evidence from rTMS

Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2002 Aug;14(2):300-2. doi: 10.1016/s0926-6410(02)00109-x.


The hypothesis was tested that visuospatial mental imagery relies on processing in the posterior parietal lobe. Using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in a cross-over, sham-controlled design, we compared involvement of right posterior parietal cortex with primary visual cortex. Subjects received rTMS over the parietal and occipital cortices during 20 min, after which they performed a behaviorally controlled visuospatial mental imagery task. Performance deteriorated significantly after rTMS over the parietal, but not occipital, cortex. These data support a causal link between parietal activation and top-down spatial processing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Humans
  • Imagination / physiology*
  • Magnetics
  • Occipital Lobe / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Perception / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology