Past studies have shown that neurons in a brain region called the Anterior Intraparietal Area (AIP) respond selectively to 3-D shape and are active during object grasping. But there has been a lack of research on the causal effects of AIP neuronal activity on other brain regions limiting knowledge about the organization of neuronal networks that support grasping behavior.
In a study published this week, Peter Janssen, of KU Leuven, and his collaborators investigate the function of AIP and the connections with other parts of the brain. Using electrical microstimulation and functional magnetic resonance imaging in monkeys, the researchers discovered that the posterior subsector of AIP is a critical site of the dorsal and ventral visual processing, which are involved in analyzing the location of objects.
New insights appeared into the organization of the network of brain regions involved in analyzing 3- D.
The researchers first identified 3-D sites in the AIP by recording neural activity in monkeys.
Then they used electrodes to electrically stimulate those sites while recording brain activity. Stimulation of the anterior AIP led to an increase in neural activity in a network and motor areas implicated in reaching and grasping. By contrast, stimulation of the posterior AIP increased neural activity in brain regions involved in object processing. These findings demonstrate that neighboring AIP neurons are connected with markedly different networks of brain regions in parietal, temporal, and frontal cortices. This distinction between the posterior and previous portions of AIP could not be
These findings demonstrate that neighboring AIP neurons with similar response properties are connected with markedly different networks of brain regions in parietal, temporal, and frontal cortices. This distinction between the posterior and anterior portions of AIP could not be readily detected in any studies.
Other studies do not require animals to be sacrificed, so animals are safe and the same animals can used the same line of investigation. According to the researches, this study provides the first causal evidence relating the properties of individual neurons to their neural connections in posterior parietal cortex.
In summary, the results clearly demonstrate that the posterior AIP is a brain region where the dorsal and ventral visual streams interact during object analysis.
This topic did not interest me much but it caught my attention.The simple task of grasping an object for us is an everyday thing but to my surprise this active activity several brain regions, the monkeys are used in this experiment because they think like us and demonstrate the ability of the brain to contrast the various parts that are activated on it. The brain is an incredible part of our body and today still do not know, for me , that’s what caught my attention.