Neural Mechanisms Underlying Reaching for Remembered Targets, Cued Kinesthetically or Visually in Left of Right Hemispace

Academic Article


  • Reaching for a target involves integrative coordinate transformation processes between the representation of the target location, the sensorimotor information of limb of reach, and body space. Although right hemisphere dominance for visuospatial information processing is well established, corresponding right hemisphere dominance for kinesthetic spatial information processing remains to be demonstrated. We explored neural mechanisms of encoding target locations using 15O-butanol positron emission tomography (PET) in normal volunteers in a factorial experiment, where modality (visual/kinesthetic) and hemispace of target presentation (left/right of midsagittal plane) were varied systematically. After target presentation, subjects reached to the encoded target location. PET data analysis using SPM99 showed increased neural activity (P < 0.05, corrected) associated with left hemispace target presentation in right hemisphere areas (sensorimotor, anterior cingulate, insular, and temporo-occipital cortex) only. By contrast, right hemispace target presentation activated bilateral temporo-occipital cortex, which extended into the right temporo-parietal cortex and left sensorimotor cortex. A significant interaction of hemispace and modality of target presentation observed in right temporo-parietal cortex resulted from an increase in neural activity with kinesthetic target presentation in right hemispace. The data support an important role for the right temporo-parietal area in visuospatial processing and suggest a specific role of the right hemisphere in kinesthetic spatial processing. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Butler AJ; Fink GR; Dohle C; Wunderlich G; Tellmann L; Seitz RJ; Zilles K; Freund HJ
  • Start Page

  • 165
  • End Page

  • 177
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 3