Intentional maps in posterior parietal cortex

Richard A. Andersen, Christopher Buneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

843 Scopus citations


The posterior parietal cortex (PPC), historically believed to be a sensory structure, is now viewed as an area important for sensory-motor integration. Among its functions is the forming of intentions, that is, high-level cognitive plans for movement. There is a map of intentions within the PPC, with different subregions dedicated to the planning of eye movements, reaching movements, and grasping movements. These areas appear to be specialized for the multisensory integration and coordinate transformations required to convert sensory input to motor output. In several subregions of the PPC, these operations are facilitated by the use of a common distributed space representation that is independent of both sensory input and motor output. Attention and learning effects are also evident in the PPC. However, these effects may be general to cortex and operate in the PPC in the context of sensory-motor transformations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-220
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual Review of Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Arm movements
  • Eye movements
  • Neural prosthetics
  • Optic flow
  • Spatial representations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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