Spatial awareness is a function of the temporal not the posterior parietal lobe

  title={Spatial awareness is a function of the temporal not the posterior parietal lobe},
  author={Hans-Otto Karnath and Susanne Ferber and Marc Himmelbach},
Our current understanding of spatial behaviour and parietal lobe function is largely based on the belief that spatial neglect in humans (a lack of awareness of space on the side of the body contralateral to a brain injury) is typically associated with lesions of the posterior parietal lobe. However, in monkeys, this disorder is observed after lesions of the superior temporal cortex, a puzzling discrepancy between the species. Here we show that, contrary to the widely accepted view, the superior… 

Superior temporal gyrus: a neglected cortical area?

Space and the parietal cortex

Understanding the parietal lobe syndrome from a neurophysiological and evolutionary perspective

In human and nonhuman primates parietal cortex is formed by a multiplicity of areas and similarities, differences and paradoxes make the study of the evolution and function of parietal lobe a challenging case.

A review of lateralization of spatial functioning in nonhuman primates

Spatial neglect--a vestibular disorder?

It is argued that the superior temporal cortex, insula and the temporo-parietal junction are substantial parts of the multisensory (vestibular) system as well as to be affected in spatial neglect and have a multimodal character representing a significant site for the neural transformation of converging vestibular, auditory, neck proprioceptive and visual input into higher order spatial representations.

Mechanisms of Spatial Attention Control in Frontal and Parietal Cortex

These findings are the first to characterize spatial attention signals in topographic frontal and parietal cortex and provide a neural basis in support of an interhemispheric competition account of spatial attentional control.

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These rTMS data in unimpaired subjects constrain the evidence from lesion studies in brain-damaged patients, emphasizing the major role of a subset of relevant regions.



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The present experiments were designed to measure quantitatively the amount of disruption of selective visual attention which is produced by lesions of posterior parietal and parietooccipital cortical lesions in monkeys and to measure the severity of visual neglect and the amount and duration of visual extinction which were produced by cortical lesions.

Visual neglect in the monkey. Representation and disconnection.

It is proposed that the cortex of each hemisphere maintains a retinotopically organized representation of the visible halfworld that is contralateral to the animal's current point of fixation, and that this representation is based not only on analysis of the current retinal input but also on memory.

Spatial attention and neglect: parietal, frontal and cingulate contributions to the mental representation and attentional targeting of salient extrapersonal events.

  • M. Mesulam
  • Psychology, Biology
    Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences
  • 1999
The syndrome of contralesional neglect reflects a lateralized disruption of spatial attention, and patients with left neglect experience a loss of salience in the mental representation and conscious perception of the left side and display a reluctance to direct orientating and exploratory behaviours to the left.

Posterior neocortical systems subserving awareness and neglect. Neglect associated with superior temporal sulcus but not area 7 lesions.

STS may be the monkey homologue of the human IPL, and animals with STS lesions and humans with IPL lesions may manifest unilateral neglect because these areas are necessary for normal awareness of external stimuli.

Neglect following damage to frontal lobe or basal ganglia