Parietal Association Cortex
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.
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