The angular gyrus: Multiple functions and multiple subdivisions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

There is considerable interest in the structural and functional properties of the angular gyrus (AG). Located in the posterior part of the inferior parietal lobule, the AG has been shown in numerous meta-analysis reviews to be consistently activated in a variety of tasks. This review discusses the involvement of the AG in semantic processing, word reading and comprehension, number processing, default mode network, memory retrieval, attention and spatial cognition, reasoning, and social cognition. This large functional neuroimaging literature depicts a major role for the AG in processing concepts rather than percepts when interfacing perception-to-recognition-to-action. More specifically, the AG emerges as a cross-modal hub where converging multisensory information is combined and integrated to comprehend and give sense to events, manipulate mental representations, solve familiar problems, and reorient attention to relevant information. In addition, this review discusses recent findings that point to the existence of multiple subdivisions in the AG. This spatial parcellation can serve as a framework for reporting AG activations with greater definition. This review also acknowledges that the role of the AG cannot comprehensibly be identified in isolation but needs to be understood in parallel with the influence from other regions. Several interesting questions that warrant further investigations are finally emphasized.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)43-61
Number of pages19
JournalNeuroscientist
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • connectivity
  • cross-modal integration
  • default network
  • inferior parietal lobule
  • semantic

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