Journal of Neuropsychology

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Volume 3 Issue 1 (March 2009), Pages 1-143

Near space functioning of the human angular and supramarginal gyri (pages 31-43)

The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) has been associated with the encoding of events in peripersonal space, but little is known about the precise segregation of parietal areas involved specifically in ‘near‐space’ visuospatial processing. This study applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to two parietal areas: the right angular gyrus (ANG) and the right supramarginal gyrus (SMG) in addition to a control site, cortical visual area V5, while subjects performed symmetry judgements on lines presented simultaneously in the left and right visual fields. Eight subjects performed the task with the stimuli presented either in peripersonal or extra personal space. As expected, TMS over the right ANG caused subjects to report lines as being longer ipsilateral to the stimulation site, but only in near space. TMS of the right SMG, however, induced a bias shift in both near and far space, but the change only reached significance in near space. Our findings suggest that, consistent with its role in somatosensory functions, the SMG, like the ANG, is specialised for near space.

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