The Dynamics of Interhemispheric Compensatory Processes in Mental Imagery

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Science  29 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5722, pp. 702-704
DOI: 10.1126/science.1107784

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The capacity to generate and analyze mental visual images is essential for many cognitive abilities. We combined triple-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (tpTMS) and repetitive TMS (rTMS) to determine which distinct aspect of mental imagery is carried out by the left and right parietal lobe and to reveal interhemispheric compensatory interactions. The left parietal lobe was predominant in generating mental images, whereas the right parietal lobe was specialized in the spatial comparison of the imagined content. Furthermore, in case of an rTMS-induced left parietal lesion, the right parietal cortex could immediately compensate such a left parietal disruption by taking over the specific function of the left hemisphere.

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