Publication details for Dr Jason ConnollyBracci, S., Cavina-Pratesi, C., Connolly, J.D. & Ietswaart, M. (2016). Representational content of occipitotemporal and parietal tool areas. Neuropsychologia 84: 81-88.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 0028-3932
- DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.09.001
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
It is now established that the perception of tools engages a left-lateralized network of frontoparietal and
occipitotemporal cortical regions. Nevertheless, the precise computational role played by these areas is
not yet well understood. To address this question, we used functional MRI to investigate the distribution
of responses to pictures of tools and hands relative to other object categories in the so-called “tool” areas.
Although hands and tools are visually not alike and belong to different object categories, these are both
functionally linked when considering the common role of hands and tools in object manipulation. This
distinction can provide insight into the differential functional role of areas within the “tool” network.
Results demonstrated that images of hands and tools activate a common network of brain areas in the
left intraparietal sulcus (IPS), left lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC) and ventral occipitotemporal
cortex (VOTC). Importantly, multivoxel pattern analysis revealed that the distribution of hand and tool
response patterns in these regions differs. These observations provide support for the idea that the left
IPS, left LOTC and VOTC might have distinct computational roles with regard to tool use. Specifically,
these results suggest that while left IPS supports tool action-related computations and VOTC primarily
encodes category specific aspects of objects, left LOTC bridges ventro occipitotemporal perception-related
and parietal action-related representations by encoding both types of object information.