Tactile-visual integration in the posterior parietal cortex: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study

Brain Res Bull. 2008 Mar 28;75(5):513-25. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2007.09.004. Epub 2007 Oct 8.


To explore the neural substrates of visual-tactile crossmodal integration during motion direction discrimination, we conducted functional magnetic resonance imaging with 15 subjects. We initially performed independent unimodal visual and tactile experiments involving motion direction matching tasks. Visual motion discrimination activated the occipital cortex bilaterally, extending to the posterior portion of the superior parietal lobule, and the dorsal and ventral premotor cortex. Tactile motion direction discrimination activated the bilateral parieto-premotor cortices. The left superior parietal lobule, intraparietal sulcus, bilateral premotor cortices and right cerebellum were activated during both visual and tactile motion discrimination. Tactile discrimination deactivated the visual cortex including the middle temporal/V5 area. To identify the crossmodal interference of the neural activities in both the unimodal and the multimodal areas, tactile and visual crossmodal experiments with event-related designs were also performed by the same subjects who performed crossmodal tactile-visual tasks or intramodal tactile-tactile and visual-visual matching tasks within the same session. The activities detected during intramodal tasks in the visual regions (including the middle temporal/V5 area) and the tactile regions were suppressed during crossmodal conditions compared with intramodal conditions. Within the polymodal areas, the left superior parietal lobule and the premotor areas were activated by crossmodal tasks. The left superior parietal lobule was more prominently activated under congruent event conditions than under incongruent conditions. These findings suggest that a reciprocal and competitive association between the unimodal and polymodal areas underlies the interaction between motion direction-related signals received simultaneously from different sensory modalities.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Parietal Lobe / blood supply*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Touch / physiology*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*


  • Oxygen