Role of the parietal cortex in long-term representation of spatial information in the rat

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2009 Feb;91(2):172-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2008.08.005. Epub 2008 Sep 26.


The processing of spatial information in the brain requires a network of structures within which the hippocampus plays a prominent role by elaborating an allocentric representation of space. The parietal cortex has long been suggested to have a complementary function. An overview of lesion and unit recording data in the rat indicates that the parietal cortex is involved in different aspects of spatial information processing including allocentric and egocentric processing. More specifically, the data suggest that the parietal cortex plays a fundamental role in combining visual and motion information, a process that would be important for an egocentric-to-allocentric transformation process. Furthermore, the parietal cortex may also have a role in the long-term storage of representation although this possibility needs further evidence. The data overall show that the parietal cortex occupies a unique position in the brain at the interface of perception and representation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Maze Learning / physiology
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Spatial Behavior / physiology