The representation of space is critical for the coordination of many forms of human behavior. The overarching question addressed in this project is, what psychological and neural mechanisms underlie the process of spatial representation. Moreover, how this derived spatial code is exploited in the service of action, such as moving one's eyes or hands to the location of the desired target. While there is general acceptance in the animal and human literature that the coding of spatial position is neurally instantiated in the parietal lobe, there is little agreement on the frame of reference or coordinate system with respect to which spatial locations are defined. While some recent progress has been made in clarifying this issue, there remain two particularly contentious issues, one concerning the involvement of an object-centered reference frame in the coding of spatial position during perception and the second concerning the consequences of a deficit in spatial coding for action. Two major methodologies will be used to address these issues. The primary method involves the detailed analysis of the behavior (with reaction time, parameters of eye movements and hand movements as dependent measures) of neurological patients who, following a lesion to the parietal lobe, have a selective deficit in spatial behavior (known as hemispatial neglect). The complementary method employs functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine both the neural site and time course of the processes involved in spatial representation in normal and brain-damaged subjects. The first series of experiments compares the performance of neglect patients on tasks designed to evaluate how different spatial reference frames (particularly one that is object-centered) determine what is neglected. The second set of experiments explores the spatial reference frames in output modalities in experiments requiring eye movements and/or visually guided reaching. Individual spatial frames of reference will be explored to examine their unique contribution to spatial behavior. Studies using fMRI are interleaved with the neuropsychological studies to provide converging evidence. The ease with which coordinated spatial behavior is executed belies the underlying complexity of the process. This project may provide important insights into two central issues: the process of spatial representation in normal subjects and its breakdown in humans with lesions to the parietal cortex. An improved understanding of what gives rise to neglect might lead to better diagnostic and remediation procedures for this fairly common neurobehavioral disorder. These findings will also provide a crucial bridge to the important lesion and single unit studies in nonhuman primates and will constrain theoretical models of spatial cognition.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01MH054246-10
Application #
6828320
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-3 (03))
Program Officer
Kurtzman, Howard S
Project Start
1995-04-01
Project End
2006-03-31
Budget Start
2004-12-01
Budget End
2006-03-31
Support Year
10
Fiscal Year
2005
Total Cost
$221,775
Indirect Cost
Name
Carnegie-Mellon University
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
052184116
City
Pittsburgh
State
PA
Country
United States
Zip Code
15213
Rokem, Ariel; Takemura, Hiromasa; Bock, Andrew S et al. (2017) The visual white matter: The application of diffusion MRI and fiber tractography to vision science. J Vis 17:4
Greenberg, Adam S; Rosen, Maya; Cutrone, Elizabeth et al. (2015) The effects of visual search efficiency on object-based attention. Atten Percept Psychophys 77:1544-57
Zachariou, Valentinos; Klatzky, Roberta; Behrmann, Marlene (2014) Ventral and dorsal visual stream contributions to the perception of object shape and object location. J Cogn Neurosci 26:189-209
Gabay, Shai; Behrmann, Marlene (2014) Attentional dynamics mediated by subcortical mechanisms. Atten Percept Psychophys 76:2375-88
Avidan, Galia; Tanzer, Michal; Hadj-Bouziane, Fadila et al. (2014) Selective dissociation between core and extended regions of the face processing network in congenital prosopagnosia. Cereb Cortex 24:1565-78
Shomstein, Sarah; Kravitz, Dwight J; Behrmann, Marlene (2012) Attentional control: temporal relationships within the fronto-parietal network. Neuropsychologia 50:1202-10
Phillips, Jeffrey S; Greenberg, Adam S; Pyles, John A et al. (2012) Co-analysis of brain structure and function using fMRI and diffusion-weighted imaging. J Vis Exp :
Greenberg, Adam S; Verstynen, Timothy; Chiu, Yu-Chin et al. (2012) Visuotopic cortical connectivity underlying attention revealed with white-matter tractography. J Neurosci 32:2773-82
Avidan, Galia; Tanzer, Michal; Behrmann, Marlene (2011) Impaired holistic processing in congenital prosopagnosia. Neuropsychologia 49:2541-52
Kravitz, Dwight J; Behrmann, Marlene (2011) Space-, object-, and feature-based attention interact to organize visual scenes. Atten Percept Psychophys 73:2434-47

Showing the most recent 10 out of 19 publications