The inferior parietal lobule and temporoparietal junction: A network perspective

Kajsa M. Igelström, Michael S.A. Graziano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Information processing in specialized, spatially distributed brain networks underlies the diversity and complexity of our cognitive and behavioral repertoire. Networks converge at a small number of hubs – highly connected regions that are central for multimodal integration and higher-order cognition. We review one major network hub of the human brain: the inferior parietal lobule and the overlapping temporoparietal junction (IPL/TPJ). The IPL is greatly expanded in humans compared to other primates and matures late in human development, consistent with its importance in higher-order functions. Evidence from neuroimaging studies suggests that the IPL/TPJ participates in a broad range of behaviors and functions, from bottom-up perception to cognitive capacities that are uniquely human. The organization of the IPL/TPJ is challenging to study due to the complex anatomy and high inter-individual variability of this cortical region. In this review we aimed to synthesize findings from anatomical and functional studies of the IPL/TPJ that used neuroimaging at rest and during a wide range of tasks. The first half of the review describes subdivisions of the IPL/TPJ identified using cytoarchitectonics, resting-state functional connectivity analysis and structural connectivity methods. The second half of the article reviews IPL/TPJ activations and network participation in bottom-up attention, lower-order self-perception, undirected thinking, episodic memory and social cognition. The central theme of this review is to discuss how network nodes within the IPL/TPJ are organized and how they participate in human perception and cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-83
Number of pages14
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume105
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Keywords

  • Angular gyrus
  • Frontoparietal executive control network
  • Internal cognition
  • Posterior superior temporal sulcus
  • Supramarginal gyrus
  • Ventral parietal cortex

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