The 'when' pathway of the right parietal lobe

Trends Cogn Sci. 2007 May;11(5):204-10. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2007.03.001. Epub 2007 Mar 26.


The order of events, whether two events are seen as simultaneous or successive, sets the stage for the moment-to-moment interpretation of the visual world. Evidence from patients who have lesions to the parietal lobes and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies in normal subjects suggest that the right inferior parietal lobe underlies this analysis of event timing. Judgment of temporal order, simultaneity and high-level motion are all compromised following right parietal lesions and degraded after transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right parietal but not elsewhere. The results suggest that the right parietal lobe serves as part of a when pathway for both visual fields. We propose that the disruption of this mechanism is the underlying cause of a wide range of seemingly unrelated tasks being impaired in right parietal patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Judgment
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology