The parietal cortex in sensemaking: the dissociation of multiple types of spatial information. Academic Article uri icon


  • According to the data-frame theory, sensemaking is a macrocognitive process in which people try to make sense of or explain their observations by processing a number of explanatory structures called frames until the observations and frames become congruent. During the sensemaking process, the parietal cortex has been implicated in various cognitive tasks for the functions related to spatial and temporal information processing, mathematical thinking, and spatial attention. In particular, the parietal cortex plays important roles by extracting multiple representations of magnitudes at the early stages of perceptual analysis. By a series of neural network simulations, we demonstrate that the dissociation of different types of spatial information can start early with a rather similar structure (i.e., sensitivity on a common metric), but accurate representations require specific goal-directed top-down controls due to the interference in selective attention. Our results suggest that the roles of the parietal cortex rely on the hierarchical organization of multiple spatial representations and their interactions. The dissociation and interference between different types of spatial information are essentially the result of the competition at different levels of abstraction.

published proceedings

  • Comput Intell Neurosci

author list (cited authors)

  • Sun, Y., & Wang, H.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Sun, Yanlong||Wang, Hongbin

publication date

  • May 2013