Developing Intelligence

Archives for August, 2008

Is it possible to form and execute motor intentions without being aware of when those intentions were formed? Precisely this pattern was observed by among (ha!) patients with parietal damage, as reported by Sirigu et al. They showed that patients with parietal damage are specifically impaired at estimating the time they formed the intention to…

Ideally, our real-world behavior is strongly determined by our context, for the simple reason that some behaviors are only appropriate in some situations (e.g., eating during an internal context of hunger, or using slang during an external context of casual interaction). Context-inappropriate behavior is often seen as a failure of cognitive control (e.g., continuing to…

Parietal cortex is critical for the maintenance of object information over delays. This is true both in tests of working memory (e.g., 1, 2 and 3) as well as simple visual manipulations involving the occlusion of visible objects. A great example is this study by Olson et al., who demonstrated that neurons in human intraparietal…

Andersen et al discuss both the attentional and intentional aspects to the function of the intraparietal sulcus. What’s the distinction between attention and intention? First, let’s talk about attention. The modal view, based on the biased competition model of Desimone and Duncan, and the Miller & Cohen model presented yesterday, is probably that prefrontal regions…

People often use the concept “hand-eye coordination” without appreciating its neural basis. Evidence collected by Andersen & colleagues over the past ten years indicates that different areas of parietal cortex are recruited to represent targets which require different effectors, all using a common eye-based coordinate system. Thus these areas are precisely those which contribute to…

In their already-classic 2001 article, Miller & Cohen use a “train track” metaphor to illustrate the function of prefrontal cortex. The idea is that myriad learned associations interconnect sensory representations with motor commands (metaphorically, these are the “train tracks”). The important associations will change depending on the animal’s current task (these are the “switching stations”…