The functional organization of the intraparietal sulcus in humans and monkeys

J Anat. 2005 Jul;207(1):3-17. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2005.00426.x.


In macaque monkeys, the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is concerned with the integration of multimodal information for constructing a spatial representation of the external world (in relation to the macaque's body or parts thereof), and planning and executing object-centred movements. The areas within the intraparietal sulcus (IPS), in particular, serve as interfaces between the perceptive and motor systems for controlling arm and eye movements in space. We review here the latest evidence for the existence of the IPS areas AIP (anterior intraparietal area), VIP (ventral intraparietal area), MIP (medial intraparietal area), LIP (lateral intraparietal area) and CIP (caudal intraparietal area) in macaques, and discuss putative human equivalents as assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging. The data suggest that anterior parts of the IPS comprising areas AIP and VIP are relatively well preserved across species. By contrast, posterior areas such as area LIP and CIP have been found more medially in humans, possibly reflecting differences in the evolution of the dorsal visual stream and the inferior parietal lobule. Despite interspecies differences in the precise functional anatomy of the IPS areas, the functional relevance of this sulcus for visuomotor tasks comprising target selections for arm and eye movements, object manipulation and visuospatial attention is similar in humans and macaques, as is also suggested by studies of neurological deficits (apraxia, neglect, Bálint's syndrome) resulting from lesions to this region.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Humans
  • Macaca fascicularis / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology