Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci. 2013 Apr 10;33(15):6563-80. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4129-12.2013.

Physiologically inspired model for the visual recognition of transitive hand actions.

Author information

Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, University Clinic Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


The visual recognition of actions is an important visual function that is critical for motor learning and social communication. Action-selective neurons have been found in different cortical regions, including the superior temporal sulcus, parietal and premotor cortex. Among those are mirror neurons, which link visual and motor representations of body movements. While numerous theoretical models for the mirror neuron system have been proposed, the computational basis of the visual processing of goal-directed actions remains largely unclear. While most existing models focus on the possible role of motor representations in action recognition, we propose a model showing that many critical properties of action-selective visual neurons can be accounted for by well-established visual mechanisms. Our model accomplishes the recognition of hand actions from real video stimuli, exploiting exclusively mechanisms that can be implemented in a biologically plausible way by cortical neurons. We show that the model provides a unifying quantitatively consistent account of a variety of electrophysiological results from action-selective visual neurons. In addition, it makes a number of predictions, some of which could be confirmed in recent electrophysiological experiments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center