1. The medial superior temporal area (MST) is an extrastriate area of the macaque visual cortex. Cells in MST have large receptive fields and respond to moving stimuli with directional selectivity. We previously suggested that the dorsal part of MST is mainly involved in analysis of field motion caused by movements of the animal itself, because most cells in the dorsal part preferentially responded to movements of a wide textured field rather than to movements of a small stimulus. To determine whether the remaining ventral part of MST differs in function from the dorsal part, we examined properties of cells in the ventral part in comparison with those of cells in the dorsal part, using anesthetized and paralyzed preparation. 2. Most cells in the ventral part preferably responded to movements of a small stimulus rather than to movements of a wide textured field. 3. Although the cells in the ventral part did not respond to movements of a textured field over a large window, many of them began to respond when a small stationary object was introduced in front of the moving field. The direction to which the cells responded in this stimulus configuration was opposite to the direction in which they responded to movements of an object on a stationary background. Activities of these cells thus represented the direction of relative movement of an object on a background, irrespective of whether the image of the object or the background moved on the retina. 4. We conclude that the ventral part of MST is distinctive from the dorsal part of MST and is mainly involved in the analysis of object movements in external space.