Do spatial operations on mental images and those on visually presented material share the same neural substrate? We used the high spatial resolution of functioned magnetic resonance imaging to determine whether areas in the parietal lobe that have been implicated in the spatial transformation of visual percepts are also activated during the generation and spatial analysis of imagined objects. Using a behaviourally controlled mental imagery paradigm, which did not involve any visual stimulation, we found robust activation in posterior parietal cortex in both hemispheres. We could thus identified the subset of spatial analysis-related activity that is involved in spatial operations on mental images in the absence of external visual input. This result clarifies the nature of top-down processes in the dorsal stream of the human cerebral cortex and provides evidence for a specific convergence of the pathways of imagery and visual perception within the parietal lobes.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - May 2000|
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