Maintaining internal representations: The role of the human superior parietal lobe
Wolpert DM., Goodbody SJ., Husain M.
In sensorimotor integration, sensory input and motor output signals are combined to provide an internal estimate of the state of both the world and one's own body. Although a single perceptual and motor snapshot can provide information about the current state, computational models show that the state can be optimally estimated by a recursive process in which an internal estimate is maintained and updated by the current sensory and motor signals. These models predict that an internal state estimate is maintained or stored in the brain. Here we report a patient with a lesion of the superior parietal lobe who shows both sensory and motor deficits consistent with an inability to maintain such an internal representation between updates. Our findings suggest that the superior parietal lobe is critical for sensorimotor integration, by maintaining an internal representation of the body's state.