A Predominantly Visual Subdivision of the Right Temporo-Parietal Junction (vTPJ)

Hiroshi Horiguchi, Brian A. Wandell, Jonathan Winawer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A multiplicity of sensory and cognitive functions has been attributed to the large cortical region at the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ). Using functional MRI, we report that a small region lateralized within the right TPJ responds robustly to certain simple visual stimuli ("vTPJ"). The vTPJ was found in all right hemispheres (n = 7), posterior to the auditory cortex. To manipulate stimuli and attention, subjects were presented with a mixture of visual and auditory stimuli in a concurrent block design in 2 experiments: (1) A simple visual stimulus (a grating pattern modulating in mean luminance) elicited robust responses in the vTPJ, whether or not the subject attended to vision and(2) a drifting low-contrast dartboard pattern of constant mean luminance evoked robust responses in the vTPJ when it was task-relevant (visual task), and smaller responses when it was not (auditory task). The results suggest a focal, visually responsive region within the right TPJ that is powerfully driven by certain visual stimuli (luminance fluctuations), and that can be driven by other visual stimuli when the subject is attending. The precise localization of this visually responsive region is helpful in segmenting the TPJ and to better understand its role in visual awareness and related disorders such as extinction and neglect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-646
Number of pages8
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Keywords

  • Multisensory
  • Temporo-parietal junction
  • Visual attention
  • Visual extinction
  • Visual perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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