Visual areas involved in the perception of human movement from dynamic form analysis

Neuroreport. 2005 Jul 13;16(10):1037-41. doi: 10.1097/00001756-200507130-00002.


The perception of biological motion combines the analysis of form and motion. However, patient observations by Vaina et al. and psychophysical experiments by Beintema and Lappe showed that humans could perceive human movements (a walker) without local image motion information. Here, we examine the specificity of brain regions responsive to a biological motion stimulus without local image motion, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We used the stimulus from Beintema and Lappe and compared the brain activity with a point-light display that does contain local motion information and was often used in previous studies. Recent imaging studies have identified areas sensitive to biological motion in both the motion-processing and the form-processing pathways of the visual system. We find a similar neuronal network engaged in biological motion perception, but more strongly manifested in form-processing than in motion-processing areas, namely, fusiform-/occipital face area and extrastriate body area.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*