Visual cues contribute to the creation of an observer's egocentric reference frame, within which the locations and orientations of objects can be judged. However, these cues can also be misleading. In the rod-and-frame illusion, for example, a large tilted frame distorts the observer's sense of vertical, causing an enclosed rod to appear tilted in the opposite direction. To determine the brain region responsible for processing these spatial cues, we used TMS to suppress neural activity in the superior parietal lobule of healthy observers. Stimulation of the right hemisphere, but not the left, caused a significant reduction in rod-and-frame susceptibility. In contrast, a tilt illusion caused by a mechanism that does not involve a distortion of the observer's egocentric reference frame was unaffected. These results demonstrate that the right superior parietal lobule is actively involved in processing the contextual cues that contribute to our perception of egocentric space.

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