Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2003 Mar 29;358(1431):435-45.

Electrophysiology and brain imaging of biological motion.

Author information

  • 1Centre for Advanced Imaging, Department of Radiology, West Virginia University, PO Box 9236, Morgantown 26506-9236, USA.


The movements of the faces and bodies of other conspecifics provide stimuli of considerable interest to the social primate. Studies of single cells, field potential recordings and functional neuroimaging data indicate that specialized visual mechanisms exist in the superior temporal sulcus (STS) of both human and non-human primates that produce selective neural responses to moving natural images of faces and bodies. STS mechanisms also process simplified displays of biological motion involving point lights marking the limb articulations of animate bodies and geometrical shapes whose motion simulates purposeful behaviour. Facial movements such as deviations in eye gaze, important for gauging an individual's social attention, and mouth movements, indicative of potential utterances, generate particularly robust neural responses that differentiate between movement types. Collectively such visual processing can enable the decoding of complex social signals and through its outputs to limbic, frontal and parietal systems the STS may play a part in enabling appropriate affective responses and social behaviour.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk