Send to

Choose Destination
Soc Neurosci. 2006;1(3-4):396-411. doi: 10.1080/17470910601041382.

School-aged children exhibit domain-specific responses to biological motion.

Author information

Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0086, USA.


Prior studies have implicated the superior temporal sulcus region for processing various types of biological motion in children and adults. However, no previous research in children compared this activity to that involved in coherent, meaningful, non-biological motion perception to show specificity for biological motion processing. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore which brain regions were specific for biological motion in 7- to 10-year-old children. We compared brain activity in response to biological motion by a biological figure (a walking human); biological motion by a non-biological figure (a walking robot); disorganized, non-biological motion by a disjointed mechanical figure; and organized, non-biological motion by a grandfather clock. We identified a network of brain regions that had a greater response evoked by biological than by non-biological motion, including the superior temporal sulcus and mirror neuron regions. Additionally, we found a developmental change suggesting increasing specificity for biological motion with age in the superior temporal sulcus region. We discuss these results in the context of research and theory that has emphasized the important role of biological motion perception in the development of theory-of-mind abilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center