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Journal Article

Organization of the human inferior parietal lobule based on receptor architectonics


Bacha-Trams,  Mareike
Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine, Research Center Jülich, Germany;

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Caspers, S., Schleicher, A., Bacha-Trams, M., Palomero-Gallagher, N., Amunts, K., & Zilles, K. (2013). Organization of the human inferior parietal lobule based on receptor architectonics. Cerebral Cortex, 23(3), 615-628. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhs048.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-A7D8-9
Human inferior parietal lobule (IPL) plays a key role in various cognitive functions. Its functional diversity, including attention, language, and action processing, is reflected by its structural segregation into 7 cytoarchitectonically distinct areas, each with characteristic connectivity patterns. We hypothesized that commonalities of the cytoarchitectonic, connectional, and functional diversity of the IPL should be reflected by a correlated transmitter receptor–based organization. Since the function of a cortical area requires a well-tuned receptor balance, the densities of 15 different receptors were measured in each IPL area. A hierarchical cluster analysis of the receptor balance revealed a tripartite segregation of the IPL into a rostral, middle, and caudal group. Comparison with other cortical areas showed strong similarities with Broca's region for all 3 groups, with the superior parietal cortex for the middle, and with extrastriate visual areas for the caudal group. Notably, caudal-most area PGp has a receptor fingerprint very similar to that of ventral extrastriate visual cortex. We therefore propose a new organizational model of the human IPL, consisting of 3 clusters, which corresponds to its known cytoarchitectonic, connectional, and functional diversity at the molecular level. This might reflect a general organizational principle of human IPL, beyond specific functional domains.