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Neuropsychologia. 2013 Feb;51(3):457-63. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.11.027. Epub 2012 Dec 2.

Neuroanatomical correlates of biological motion detection.

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Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK.


Biological motion detection is both commonplace and important, but there is great inter-individual variability in this ability, the neural basis of which is currently unknown. Here we examined whether the behavioral variability in biological motion detection is reflected in brain anatomy. Perceptual thresholds for detection of biological motion and control conditions (non-biological object motion detection and motion coherence) were determined in a group of healthy human adults (n=31) together with structural magnetic resonance images of the brain. Voxel based morphometry analyzes revealed that gray matter volumes of left posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and left ventral premotor cortex (vPMC) significantly predicted individual differences in biological motion detection, but showed no significant relationship with performance on the control tasks. Our study reveals a neural basis associated with the inter-individual variability in biological motion detection, reliably linking the neuroanatomical structure of left pSTS and vPMC with biological motion detection performance.

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