The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) features close anatomical and functional relationships with the prefrontal cortex. However, the necessity of the PPC in executive functions has been questioned. The present study employed the stop-signal task to examine response inhibition, an executive function that inhibits prepotent response tendency. The brain activity and resting-state functional connectivity were measured to analyze a parcellation-based network that was aimed at identifying a candidate PPC region essential for response inhibition in humans. The intraparietal sulcus (IPS) was activated during response inhibition and connected with the inferior frontal cortex and the presupplementary motor area, the two frontal regions known to be necessary for response inhibition. Next, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was used to test the essential role of the IPS region for response inhibition. TMS over the IPS region prolonged the stop-signal reaction time (SSRT), the standard behavioral index used to evaluate stopping performance, when stimulation was applied 30 to 0 msec before stopping. On the contrary, stimulation over the temporoparietal junction region, an area activated during response inhibition but lacking connectivity with the two frontal regions, did not show changes in SSRT. These results indicate that the IPS identified using the parcellation-based network plays an essential role in executive functions.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTBased on the previous neuropsychological studies reporting no impairment in executive functions after lesions in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), the necessity of PPC in executive functions has been questioned. Here, contrary to the long-lasting view, by using recently developed analysis in functional MRI ("parcellation-based network analysis"), we identified the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) region in the PPC as essential for response inhibition: one executive function to stop actions that are inaccurate in a given context. The necessity of IPS for response inhibition was further tested by an interventional technique of transcranial magnetic stimulation. Stimulation to the IPS disrupted the performance of stopping. Our findings suggest that the IPS plays essential roles in executive functions.
|Journal||The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - Jan 28 2019|