The inferior parietal lobe (IPL) is a key neural substrate underlying diverse mental processes, from basic attention to language and social cognition, that define human interactions. Its putative domain-global role appears to tie into poorly understood differences between cognitive domains in both hemispheres. Across attentional, semantic, and social cognitive tasks, our study explored functional specialization within the IPL. The task specificity of IPL subregion activity was substantiated by distinct predictive signatures identified by multivariate pattern-learning algorithms. Moreover, the left and right IPL exerted domain-specific modulation of effective connectivity among their subregions. Task-evoked functional interactions of the anterior and posterior IPL subregions involved recruitment of distributed cortical partners. While anterior IPL subregions were engaged in strongly lateralized coupling links, both posterior subregions showed more symmetric coupling patterns across hemispheres. Our collective results shed light on how under-appreciated functional specialization in the IPL supports some of the most distinctive human mental capacities.
Preprocessed fMRI data and behavioral data are publicly available at the Open Science Framework doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/9NDHP .
FuncSegOpen Science Framework, 9NDHP.
- Danilo Bzdok
- Danilo Bzdok
- Gesa Hartwigsen
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The study was performed according to the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by the Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty of the University of Leipzig, Germany (282/16-eh). Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects before the experiment.
- Dwight Kravitz, The George Washington University, United States
© 2021, Numssen et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) fulfill an important role in communication and navigation in many species. Because of their social and affective significance, rodent USVs are increasingly used as a behavioral measure in neurodevelopmental and neurolinguistic research. Reliably attributing USVs to their emitter during close interactions has emerged as a difficult, key challenge. If addressed, all subsequent analyses gain substantial confidence. We present a hybrid ultrasonic tracking system, Hybrid Vocalization Localizer (HyVL), that synergistically integrates a high-resolution acoustic camera with high-quality ultrasonic microphones. HyVL is the first to achieve millimeter precision (~3.4–4.8 mm, 91% assigned) in localizing USVs, ~3× better than other systems, approaching the physical limits (mouse snout ~10 mm). We analyze mouse courtship interactions and demonstrate that males and females vocalize in starkly different relative spatial positions, and that the fraction of female vocalizations has likely been overestimated previously due to imprecise localization. Further, we find that when two male mice interact with one female, one of the males takes a dominant role in the interaction both in terms of the vocalization rate and the location relative to the female. HyVL substantially improves the precision with which social communication between rodents can be studied. It is also affordable, open-source, easy to set up, can be integrated with existing setups, and reduces the required number of experiments and animals.
How does the human brain combine information across the eyes? It has been known for many years that cortical normalization mechanisms implement ‘ocularity invariance’: equalizing neural responses to spatial patterns presented either monocularly or binocularly. Here, we used a novel combination of electrophysiology, psychophysics, pupillometry, and computational modeling to ask whether this invariance also holds for flickering luminance stimuli with no spatial contrast. We find dramatic violations of ocularity invariance for these stimuli, both in the cortex and also in the subcortical pathways that govern pupil diameter. Specifically, we find substantial binocular facilitation in both pathways with the effect being strongest in the cortex. Near-linear binocular additivity (instead of ocularity invariance) was also found using a perceptual luminance matching task. Ocularity invariance is, therefore, not a ubiquitous feature of visual processing, and the brain appears to repurpose a generic normalization algorithm for different visual functions by adjusting the amount of interocular suppression.