State estimation in posterior parietal cortex: Distinct poles of environmental and bodily states
SourceProgress in Neurobiology, 183, (2019), article 101691
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC SMN
Progress in Neurobiology
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
Posterior parietal cortex (PPC) has been implicated in sensory and motor processing, but its underlying organization is still debated. Sensory-based accounts suggest that PPC is mainly involved in attentional selection and multisensory integration, serving novelty detection and information seeking. Motor-specific accounts suggest a parietal subdivision into lower-dimensional, effector-specific subspaces for planning motor action. More recently, function-based interpretations have been put forward based on coordinated responses across multiple effectors evoked by circumscribed PPC regions. In this review, we posit that an overarching interpretation of PPC's functional organization must integrate, rather than contrast, these various accounts of PPC. We propose that PPC's main role is that of a state estimator that extends into two poles: a rostral, body-related pole that projects the environment onto the body and a caudal, environment-related pole that projects the body into an environment landscape. The combined topology interweaves perceptual, motor, and function-specific principles, and suggests that actions are specified by top-down guided optimization of body-environment interactions.
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