The precuneus and visuospatial attention in near and far space: A transcranial magnetic stimulation study

Indra T. Mahayana, Lili Tcheang, Chiao Yun Chen, Chi Hung Juan, Neil G. Muggleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: There is a large body of evidence for the involvement of the parietal cortex in orientation and navigation in space. This has been supplemented by investigation of the contribution of a number of subregions using transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Objective: The role of the precuneus area, located in the medial plane of posterior parietal cortex (PPC), in visuospatial functions is not well understood. We investigated the contribution of this area using the landmark task.

Methods: Participants were asked to make forced-choice judgments of which side of prebisected line was longer for near and far viewing conditions (70 and 180 cm, respectively). Online 10 Hz, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was delivered for 500 ms over the right precuneus, rPPC and vertex (control), in separate blocks of trials. The rPPC stimulation was used as a positive control, having previously resulted in "neglect like" spatial bias effects in a number of studies.

Results: A no-TMS condition showed a leftward spatial bias (pseudoneglect) for near space judgments but not for far space and was used as the baseline. Precuneus stimulation resulted in rightward spatial bias from the midpoint in near space similar to the rPPC neglect-like effect. No significant effects were seen with vertex stimulation.

Conclusion: This study shows that precuneus, like other parietal areas, is involved in visuospatial functions. Further work is required to clarify how the contribution of this area differs from other parietal regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-679
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Stimulation
Volume7
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Landmark task
  • Neglect-like effect
  • Parietal cortex
  • Precuneus
  • TMS
  • Visuospatial attention

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