Contributions of the human temporoparietal junction and MT/V5+ to the timing of interception revealed by transcranial magnetic stimulation

Gianfranco Bosco, Mauro Carrozzo, Francesco Lacquaniti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To intercept a fast target at destination, hand movements must be centrally triggered ahead of target arrival to compensate for neuromechanical delays. The role of visual-motion cortical areas is unclear. They likely feed downstream parietofrontal networks with signals reflecting target motion, but do they also contribute internal timing signals to trigger the motor response? We disrupted the activity of human temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and middle temporal area (hMT/V5+) by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) while subjects pressed a button to intercept targets accelerated or decelerated in the vertical or horizontal direction. Target speed was randomized, making arrival time unpredictable across trials. We used either repetitive TMS (rTMS) before task execution or double-pulse TMS (dpTMS) during target motion. We found that after rTMS and dpTMS at 100-200 ms from motion onset, but not after dpTMS at 300-400 ms, the button-press responses occurred earlier than in the control, with time shifts independent of target speed. This suggests that activity in TPJ and hMT/V5+ can feed downstream regions not only with visual-motion information, but also with internal timing signals used for interception at destination. Moreover, we found that TMS of hMT/V5+ affected interception of all tested motion types, whereas TMS of TPJ significantly affected only interception of motion coherent with natural gravity. TPJ might specifically gate visual-motion information according to an internal model of the effects of gravity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12071-12084
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - Nov 12 2008


  • Gravity
  • Interception
  • Internal model
  • Magnetic
  • TMS
  • Visual motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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