Integrative parietal cortex processes: neurological and psychiatric aspects

J Neurol Sci. 2014 Mar 15;338(1-2):12-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2013.12.025. Epub 2013 Dec 23.


For many decades the parietal cortex (PC) has been considered the key area in tasks which involve the integration of different stimuli. PC is fundamental to determine spatial sense, information navigation and integration, and is involved in several aspects of the complex motor repertoire and in neurological and psychiatric disorders. In this review, we focus on seven different aspects of PC: (i) neuroanatomy of the parietal cortex; (ii) sensory motor integration processes; iii) hand movement control: reaching, grasping, and pointing; (iv) saccadic eye movements; (v) movement observation; (vi) neurological aspects: ataxia, autism and Parkinson's disease; and (vii) psychiatric aspects: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. Among these, we related the perspectives which involve the functions of the parietal cortex and mirror neurons and that seem to play a fundamental role in action prediction, planning, observation and execution. Furthermore, we focused on the relationship between posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and hand-guided movements. For this review, we conducted an academic paper search which fulfilled the objective of the study. We conclude that the PC has great participation in different motor functions and neurological/psychiatric disorders.

Keywords: Hand movement control; Movement observation; Neuroanatomy; Neurological and psychiatric aspects; Parietal cortex; Sensorimotor integration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Bibliographic / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / complications
  • Mental Disorders / pathology*
  • Nervous System Diseases / complications
  • Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Parietal Lobe / pathology*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology