Posterior parietal cortex
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCurrent Biology. 2017, 27 (14), 691–695. 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.007
The posterior parietal cortex, along with temporal and prefrontal cortices, is one of the three major associative regions in the cortex of the mammalian brain. It is situated between the visual cortex at the caudal pole of the brain and the somatosensory cortex just behind the central sulcus. Technically, any cortex covered by the parietal bone is referred to as ‘parietal cortex’, but the posterior sector, formally referred to as posterior parietal cortex, is indeed its own functional section of cortex, consisting of Brodmann’s areas 5, 7, 39, and 40 in humans, areas 5 and 7 in macaques, and area 7 in rodents (Figure 1). Whereas the anterior parietal cortex in humans comprises primary somatosensory areas, the posterior parietal cortex has several higher-order functions. It is referred to as an ‘associative’ cortical region because it is neither strictly sensory nor motor, but combines inputs from a number of brain areas including somatosensory, auditory, visual, motor, cingulate and prefrontal cortices, and it integrates proprioceptive and vestibular signals from subcortical areas.