The distribution of cerebral activity related to visuomotor coordination indicating perceptual and executional specialization.


The distribution of increased regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) related to visuomotor coordination was studied by means of positron emission tomography (PET) in normal subjects. An experimental condition, in which a vertically presented zigzag figure had to be copied in a horizontal orientation, was compared with a control condition in which the same horizontal drawing was made, guided by a horizontally presented example. Cognitive components dealing with the mismatch in visual orientation resulted in activation of (i) right dorsal premotor cortex, (ii) right posterior parietal cortex, (iii) visual cortex (area V1) and (iv) left fusiform gyrus. In a second experiment, conditions were compared in which the same horizontal zigzag figure was copied in either a vertical or a horizontal orientation. Now, the motor components of the transformation of orientation appeared to be associated only with left premotor cortex activation. The differential distribution of activations is regarded to reflect the selective effort to cope with either the visual or the motor component of spatial incongruity, and indicates specialization for perceptual and executive components in visuomotor control. We propose that the perceptual component of visuomotor transformation in our experiment relates to a realignment of the coordinates of a percept to an internally defined coordinate system. The executive component relates to guidance of movement within an internal representation of space. In a preceding behavioural experiment, a majority of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) failed on the task in which they had to make a horizontal copy of a vertically presented picture. This finding may suggest a deficit in the maintenance of an internal spatial representation to guide movement.

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@article{Jong1999TheDO, title={The distribution of cerebral activity related to visuomotor coordination indicating perceptual and executional specialization.}, author={Bauke M. de Jong and Richard S. Frackowiak and Antoon T. M. Willemsen and Anne M . J . Paans}, journal={Brain research. Cognitive brain research}, year={1999}, volume={8 1}, pages={45-59} }