Cortical Connections Between Dorsal and Ventral Visual Streams in Humans: Evidence by TMS/EEG Co-Registration
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Parietal cortex subserves various cognitive tasks, ranging from attention to visuo-motor skills. It is part of a parieto-frontal network involved in attention, and part of the visual dorsal stream, opposed to the visual ventral stream, although increasing evidence suggests interchange of information between them. In this study, co-registration of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Electroencephalographic activity (EEG) has been used to investigate the spreading of cortical connections from the parietal cortex in healthy volunteers. TMS on the left parietal cortex activated a network of prefrontal regions in the contra-lateral hemisphere in a time range of 102–167 ms after the stimulus. Moreover, activation in the ipsi-lateral middle temporal and fusiform gyri was observed at 171–177 ms after delivery of TMS. Findings suggest the existence of late driven connections between parietal and prefrontal regions that could partially represent the neural pathway related to attention, even if, in this experiment, no attentional processing was requested. Late connections between dorsal and ventral streams were also evident, confirming previous evidence about interchange of information between them. Conclusively, the present investigation confirms that a great amount of information spreads from parietal cortex to different regions in the brain, supporting the idea that connections are more complex and articulated than those proposed. Present findings also suggest that the simultaneous recording of EEG during the application of TMS is a promising tool for the study of connections in the brain.
KeywordsDorsal stream Cortical connection sLORETA TMS/EEG Ventral stream
This work was supported by grants from Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca, Italy. Authors also wish to thank the anonymous Reviewers for useful suggestions which strongly improved the readability of the manuscript.
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