Visually guided reaching involves the transformation of a spatial position of a target into a body-centered reference frame. Although involvement of the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) has been proposed in this visuomotor transformation, it is unclear whether human PPC uses visual or body-centered coordinates in visually guided movements. We used a delayed visually guided reaching task, together with an fMRI multivoxel pattern analysis, to reveal the reference frame used in the human PPC. In experiments, a target was first presented either to the left or to the right of a fixation point. After a delay period, subjects moved a cursor to the position where the target had previously been displayed using either a normal or a left–right reversed mouse. The activation patterns of normal sessions were first used to train the classifier to predict movement directions. The activity patterns of the reversed sessions were then used as inputs to the decoder to test whether predicted directions correspond to actual movement directions in either visual or body-centered coordinates. When the target was presented before actual movement, the predicted direction in the medial intraparietal cortex was congruent with the actual movement in the body-centered coordinates, although the averaged signal intensities were not significantly different between two movement directions. Our results indicate that the human medial intraparietal cortex uses body-centered coordinates to encode target position or movement directions, which are crucial for visually guided movements.

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