Parietal Association Cortex

  • James C. Lynch
Part of the Readings from the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience book series (REN)


The parietal association cortex occupies a large region of the parietal lobe posterior to the primary somatosensory area in humans and other primates. It includes an area devoted to the integration of neural information derived from the various submodalities of the somatosensory system and a second, larger area which is involved in a multitude of higher intellectual functions including language (in the dominant hemisphere of humans) and many functions relating to an internal representation of the spatial aspects of an individual’s surroundings (in the nondominant hemisphere of humans). The neural substrates of language are discussed at length in other articles and will not be reviewed here. Much of our knowledge concerning the function of parietal association cortex has been gained through clinical observations of patients in which this region was damaged by disease (particularly stroke) or traumatic injury. In recent years such observations have been supplemented by neurophysiological and neuroanatomical research using nonhuman primates.

Further reading

  1. Friedland RP, Weinstein EA (1977): Hemi-inattention and hemispheric specialization: Introduction and historical review. In: Advances in Neurology, vol 18, Weinstein EA, Friedland RP, eds. New York: Raven Press, pp 1–31.Google Scholar
  2. Hyvärinen J (1982): The Parietal Cortex of Monkey and Man, vol 8. Studies of Brain Function. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  3. Lynch JC (1980): The functional organization of posterior parietal association cortex. Behav Brain Sci 3:485–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Mountcastle VB, Andersen RA, Motter BC (1981): The influence of attentive fixation upon the excitability of the light-sensitive neurons of the posterior parietal cortex. J Neurosci 1:1218–1235Google Scholar
  5. Paterson A, Zangwill OL (1944): Disorders of visual space perception associated with lesions of the right cerebral hemisphere. Brain 67:331–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Sakata H, Shibutani H, Kawano K (1983): Functional properties of visual tracking neurons in posterior parietal association cortex of the monkey. J Neurophysiol 49:1364–1380.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. Lynch

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