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Virtual lesions of the anterior intraparietal area disrupt goal-dependent on-line adjustments of grasp

Abstract

Adaptive motor behavior requires efficient error detection and correction. The posterior parietal cortex is critical for on-line control of reach-to-grasp movements. Here we show a causal relationship between disruption of cortical activity within the anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS) by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and disruption of goal-directed prehensile actions (either grip size or forearm rotation, depending on the task goal, with reaching preserved in either case). Deficits were elicited by applying TMS within 65 ms after object perturbation, which attributes a rapid control process on the basis of visual feedback to aIPS. No aperture deficits were produced when TMS was applied to a more caudal region within the intraparietal sulcus, to the parieto-occipital complex (putative V6, V6A) or to the hand area of primary motor cortex. We contend that aIPS is critical for dynamic error detection during goal-dependent reach-to-grasp action that is visually guided.

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Figure 1: Reach-to-grasp adjustments required in Experiments 1 and 2.
Figure 2: Mean grasp aperture profiles for one subject in Experiment 1.
Figure 3: Mean aperture profiles for the remaining eight subjects (shown only for aIPS).
Figure 4: Group mean (± s.e.m.) for grasp- and reach-related kinematics.
Figure 5: Mean (± s.d.) grasp movement times in Experiment 1a.
Figure 6: Movement kinematics for Experiment 2.

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Acknowledgements

S.H. Frey was formerly S.H. Johnson. P. Schmitt provided critical technical assistance. This work was supported by Public Health Service grant NS044393 to S.T.G.

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Correspondence to Scott T Grafton.

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Tunik, E., Frey, S. & Grafton, S. Virtual lesions of the anterior intraparietal area disrupt goal-dependent on-line adjustments of grasp. Nat Neurosci 8, 505–511 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/nn1430

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