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Parietal cortex codes for egocentric space beyond the field of view

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Schindler, A., & Bartels, A. (2012). Parietal cortex codes for egocentric space beyond the field of view. Poster presented at ERNI-HSF Science Meeting: Orienting of Attention: Neural Implementation, Underlying Mechanisms and Clinical Implications, Tübingen, Germany.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-9A7F-4
Our subjective experience links covert visual- and egocentric spatial attention seamlessly. However, the latter can extend beyond the visual field, covering all directions relative to our body. In contrast to visual representations, only little is known about unseen egocentric representations in the healthy brain. Parietal cortex appears involved in both, as lesions in it can lead to deficits in visual attention, but also to a disorder of egocentric spatial awareness, known as hemi-spatial neglect. Here, we used a novel virtual reality paradigm to probe our participants’ egocentric surrounding during fMRI recordings. We found that egocentric unseen space was encoded by patterns of voxel activity in parietal cortex. Intriguingly, the brain regions with best decoding performances comprised two areas known to be involved in visual covert attention and reaching as well as a region in inferior parietal cortex that coincided with a lesion site associated with spatial neglect.