Posterior Parietal Cortex Drives Inferotemporal Activations During Three-Dimensional Object Vision

PLoS Biol. 2016 Apr 15;14(4):e1002445. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002445. eCollection 2016 Apr.


The primate visual system consists of a ventral stream, specialized for object recognition, and a dorsal visual stream, which is crucial for spatial vision and actions. However, little is known about the interactions and information flow between these two streams. We investigated these interactions within the network processing three-dimensional (3D) object information, comprising both the dorsal and ventral stream. Reversible inactivation of the macaque caudal intraparietal area (CIP) during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) reduced fMRI activations in posterior parietal cortex in the dorsal stream and, surprisingly, also in the inferotemporal cortex (ITC) in the ventral visual stream. Moreover, CIP inactivation caused a perceptual deficit in a depth-structure categorization task. CIP-microstimulation during fMRI further suggests that CIP projects via posterior parietal areas to the ITC in the ventral stream. To our knowledge, these results provide the first causal evidence for the flow of visual 3D information from the dorsal stream to the ventral stream, and identify CIP as a key area for depth-structure processing. Thus, combining reversible inactivation and electrical microstimulation during fMRI provides a detailed view of the functional interactions between the two visual processing streams.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Vision, Ocular*

Grants and funding

PJ and WV received funding from interuniversity attraction poles IUAP VII/11; PJ and WV received funding from PFV/10/008; PJ and WV received funding from Fonds Wetenschappelijk onderzoek FWO grant G.0713.09, G.0622.08, and G.0831.11,; BEV received funding from Fonds Wetenschappelijk onderzoek FWO (postdoctoral fellowship). PJ and WV received funding from Odysseus grant G.0007.12; PJ received funding from European Research Council ERC Stg-260607; WV received funding from National Science Foundation NSF grant BCS-0745436; The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript