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Durham University



Publication details for Professor Amanda Ellison

Ellison, A. & Cowey, A. (2009). Differential and co-involvement of areas of the temporal and parietal streams in visual tasks. Neuropsychologia 47(6): 1609-1614.

Author(s) from Durham


Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is particularly useful in teasing apart the contrasting contributions
of different anatomical and functional systems in particular aspects of behaviour, for example the
involvement of the dorsal and ventral visual streams in tasks involving the perception of distance, shape
and colour. In order to investigate the dual involvement of two areas, namely right posterior parietal
cortex (PPC) and lateral occipital cortex (LO), in a distance discrimination task, neural processing in both
areas was concurrently disrupted using dual site TMS. Although there was no change in error rates, reaction
timewas significantly lengthened over that seen with TMS over either site alone. This additive effect
indicates that both PPC and LO are concurrently active and essential for efficient processing of this task.
The second experiment investigated the specificity of function within the ventral stream. Performance
was assessed for distance and shape discrimination when TMS was applied to our original LO site and an
area rostral to V5 but still part of the lateral occipital complex (rostral LOC) that is activated in form and
colour discrimination. Performance deficits were restricted to TMS over LO; no significant impairment
for either task followed TMS at the rostral LOC site.

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