Tjerk Gutteling's paper on the role of AIP during grasping preparation has just been accepted in the Journal of Neurophysiology. In earlier work during his project in the STAR lab, we already demonstrated that people perceive the world differently just before acting on it, in such a way that visual features relevant for grasping are perceived optimally. This phenomenon has also been demonstrated in earlier work by Bas Neggers and Harold Bekkering using a different paradigm. Tjerk, together with Soon Young Park, Prof. Leon Kenemans and Bas Neggers, could now demonstrate that the Anterior Intraparietal area (AIP, or aIPS), known to be involved in grasping itself, also plays a role in the modulation of perception during grasping preparation. This is believed to take place through 'feedback' connections to the visual cortex. The beneficial effect of grasping on orientation perception could be abolished with 1 short pulse of TMS on AIP at the right moment. Using high-resolution MRI segmentations (see picture), the TMS pulse was carefully guided to the exact same anterior part of the parietal sulcus for every participant with the Neural Navigator (TM) stereotactic neuronavigation system for TMS. The oriention of the current induced by TMS was aligned to the sulcal walls on an individual basis to maximize the TMS effect, a feature of The Neural Navigator system.
The full paper can already be downloaded:
Gutteling TP, Park SY, Kenemans JL, Neggers SF. TMS of the anterior intraparietal area selectively modulates orientation change detection during action preparation. J Neurophysiol. 2013 [Epub ahead of print]
We are happy Tjerk was able to publish his work and wish him all the best during his new PostDoc position at the Sensorimotor lab in Nijmegen!