Perception of human motion

Annu Rev Psychol. 2007;58:47-73. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.57.102904.190152.


Humans, being highly social creatures, rely heavily on the ability to perceive what others are doing and to infer from gestures and expressions what others may be intending to do. These perceptual skills are easily mastered by most, but not all, people, in large part because human action readily communicates intentions and feelings. In recent years, remarkable advances have been made in our understanding of the visual, motoric, and affective influences on perception of human action, as well as in the elucidation of the neural concomitants of perception of human action. This article reviews those advances and, where possible, draws links among those findings.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Form Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiopathology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology
  • Personal Construct Theory*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology