Modulation of excitatory and inhibitory circuits for visual awareness in the human right parietal cortex

Giacomo Koch, Massimiliano Oliveri, Sara Torriero, Carlo Caltagirone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The balance of specific patterns of excitation and inhibition in critical regions of both hemispheres could be relevant in orienting attention over the extra-personal space. In the present study a group of normal subjects had to detect small rectangular stimuli presented briefly on a computer screen in three different conditions: unilateral presentation either to left or right visual periphery or bilateral simultaneous presentation. Paired transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), was applied over the right parietal cortex 150 ms after the presentation of the visual stimuli with different inter-stimulus intervals (ISIs: 1, 3,5 and 10 ms). When paired TMS was applied 150 ms, but not 100 ms, after simultaneous visual presentation, the number of failures in detecting left targets increased compared to the single-pulse condition if the ISI was 3 ms; on the contrary, it decreased if the ISI was 5 ms. No effects were seen when paired pulses of the same intensity were delivered. These findings provide evidence of a supramodal-specific pattern of excitability of the right posterior parietal cortex in processing visuospatial information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005


  • Cortical excitability
  • Neglect
  • Supramodal integration
  • TMS
  • Visuospatial attention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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