Posterior Parietal Cortex Plays Crucial Role in Processing of Visual Stimuli
Posterior parietal cortex plays a
crucial role in making decisions about images in the field of view.
According to David Freedman, Professor of Neuroscience, this part of the brain plays a vital role in planning your next action or directing your attention.
Freedman and postdoctoral research scholar Yang Zhou ran an experiment in which trained monkeys played a simple computer game. In this they reported decisions about different types of images displayed on a computer monitor by moving their eys toward a designated target.
When the monkeys were given a drug that temporarily halted neural activity in the intraparietal area, their decisions about the visual pattens they observed were impaired. However, they regained this ability once the effect of the drug wore off. Freedman said the new study provides an opportunity for neuroscientists to rethink the brain mechanisms involved in decision-making, visual categorization, and sensory and motor processing. The work also could lead to a deeper understanding of how the brain interprets the things we see in order to make decisions. Understanding this process in detail will be critical for developing new treatments for brain-based diseases and disorders which affect decision making.
These results show that the brain’s parietal cortex is an important hub for guiding decisions, so now we’re even more motivated to move ahead and try to work out the details of neural circuits in this part of the brain that actually carry out these cognitive functions,” he said.