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Imaging evidence shows that separate subdivisions of parietal cortex, in and around the intraparietal sulcus (IPS), are engaged when stimuli are grouped according to color and to motion (Zeki and Stutters, 2013). Since grouping is an essential step in the formation of concepts, we wanted to learn whether parietal cortex is also engaged in the formation of concepts according to these two attributes. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and choosing the recognition of concept-based color or motion stimuli as our paradigm, we found that there was strong concept-related activity in and around the IPS, a region whose homolog in the macaque monkey is known to receive direct but segregated anatomical inputs from V4 and V5. Parietal activity related to color concepts was juxtaposed but did not overlap with activity related to motion concepts, thus emphasizing the continuation of the segregation of color and motion into the conceptual system. Concurrent retinotopic mapping experiments showed that within the parietal cortex, concept-related activity increases within later stage IPS areas.

Original publication




Journal article


Front Hum Neurosci

Publication Date





V4, V5, category learning, concept formation, parietal cortex