Perception of upright: Multisensory convergence and the role of temporo-parietal cortex

Amir Kheradmand, Ariel Winnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We inherently maintain a stable perception of the world despite frequent changes in the head, eye, and body positions. Such "orientation constancy" is a prerequisite for coherent spatial perception and sensorimotor planning. As a multimodal sensory reference, perception of upright represents neural processes that subserve orientation constancy through integration of sensory information encoding the eye, head, and body positions. Although perception of upright is distinct from perception of body orientation, they share similar neural substrates within the cerebral cortical networks involved in perception of spatial orientation. These cortical networks, mainly within the temporo-parietal junction, are crucial for multisensory processing and integration that generate sensory reference frames for coherent perception of self-position and extrapersonal space transformations. In this review, we focus on these neural mechanisms and discuss (i) neurobehavioral aspects of orientation constancy, (ii) sensory models that address the neurophysiology underlying perception of upright, and (iii) the current evidence for the role of cerebral cortex in perception of upright and orientation constancy, including findings from the neurological disorders that affect cortical function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number552
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Issue numberOCT
StatePublished - Oct 25 2017


  • Bayesian
  • Cerebral cortex
  • Ocular torsion
  • Orientation constancy
  • Spatial orientation
  • Subjective visual vertical
  • Temporo-parietal cortex
  • Upright perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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