Visual cortex activation in kinesthetic guidance of reaching

Academic Article


  • The purpose of this research was to determine the cortical circuit involved in encoding and controlling kinesthetically guided reaching movements. We used 15O-butanol positron emission tomography in ten blindfolded able-bodied volunteers in a factorial experiment in which arm (left/right) used to encode target location and to reach back to the remembered location and hemispace of target location (left/right side of midsagittal plane) varied systematically. During encoding of a target the experimenter guided the hand to touch the index fingertip to an external target and then returned the hand to the start location. After a short delay the subject voluntarily moved the same hand back to the remembered target location. SPM99 analysis of the PET data contrasting left versus right hand reaching showed increased (P < 0.05, corrected) neural activity in the sensorimotor cortex, premotor cortex and posterior parietal lobule (PPL) contralateral to the moving hand. Additional neural activation was observed in prefrontal cortex and visual association areas of occipital and parietal lobes contralateral and ipsilateral to the reaching hand. There was no statistically significant effect of target location in left versus right hemispace nor was there an interaction of hand and hemispace effects. Structural equation modeling showed that parietal lobe visual association areas contributed to kinesthetic processing by both hands but occipital lobe visual areas contributed only during dominant hand kinesthetic processing. This visual processing may also involve visualization of kinesthetically guided target location and use of the same network employed to guide reaches to visual targets when reaching to kinesthetic targets. The present work clearly demonstrates a network for kinesthetic processing that includes higher visual processing areas in the PPL for both upper limbs and processing in occipital lobe visual areas for the dominant limb. © 2006 Springer-Verlag.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Darling WG; Seitz RJ; Peltier S; Tellmann L; Butler AJ
  • Start Page

  • 607
  • End Page

  • 619
  • Volume

  • 179
  • Issue

  • 4