Posterior parietal areas specialized for eye movements (LIP) and reach (PRR) using a common coordinate frame

Novartis Found Symp. 1998;218:109-22; discussion 122-8, 171-5. doi: 10.1002/9780470515563.ch7.


The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) has long been considered a sensory area specialized for spatial awareness and the directing of attention. However, a new, far reaching concept is now emerging that this area is involved in integrating sensory information for the purpose of planning action. Moreover, experiments by our group and others over the last two decades indicate that PPC is in fact anatomically organized with respect to action. PPC also is an 'association' cortex which must combine different sensory modalities which are coded in different coordinate frames. We have found, at least for two different cortical areas within PPC, that different sensory signals are brought into a common coordinate frame. This coordinate frame codes locations with respect to the eye, but also gain modulates the activity by eye and body position signals. An interesting feature of this coordinate representation at the population level is that it codes concurrently target locations in multiple coordinate frames (eye, head, body and world). Depending on how this population of neurons is sampled, different coordinate transformations can be accomplished by the same population of neurons.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*