The posterior parietal cortex as integrative hub for whisker sensorimotor information

Neuroscience. 2018 Jan 1;368:240-245. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.06.020. Epub 2017 Jun 19.


Our daily life consists of a continuous interplay between incoming sensory information and outgoing motor plans. Particularly during goal-directed behavior and active exploration of the sensory environment, brain circuits are merging sensory and motor signals. This is referred to as sensorimotor integration and is relevant for locomotion, vision or tactile exploration. The somatosensory (tactile) system is an attractive modality to study sensorimotor integration in health and disease, motivated by the need for revolutionary technology that builds upon conceptual understanding of sensorimotor integration, such as brain-machine-interfaces and neuro-prosthetics. In this perspective, we focus on the rat whisker system and put forward the posterior parietal cortex as a potential circuit where sensorimotor integration could occur during active somatosensation.

Keywords: anatomy; function; parietal cortex; rodent; sensorimotor integration; whisker system.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Somatosensory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*
  • Touch Perception / physiology*
  • Vibrissae / physiology*