Parietal and frontal cortical areas play important roles in the control of goal-oriented behaviour. This review examines how signal processing in the parietal and frontal eye fields is involved in coding and storing space, directing attention and processing the sensorimotor transformation for saccades. After a survey of the functional specialization of these areas in monkeys, we discuss homologous regions in the human brain in terms of topographic organization, storage capacity, target selection, spatial remapping, reference frame transformations and effector specificity. The overall picture suggests that bottom-up sensory, top-down cognitive signals and efferent motor signals are integrated in dynamic sensorimotor maps as part of a functionally flexible parietofrontal network. Neuronal synchronization in these maps may be instrumental in amplifying behaviourally relevant representations and setting up a functional pathway to route information in this parietofrontal circuit.
© 2011 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2011 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.