초록

Humans are remarkably good at interpreting the identity and intentions of other people based on “body language” - dynamic cues portraying bodily movements. Befitting the important social significance of this perceptual ability, the human brain contains neural machinery uniquely responsive to the kinematics specifying human activity, including “biological motion” portrayed using just a small number of motion tokens specifying articulations of the body and limbs. We have established stimulus conditions that dissociate neural activity produced by presentation of biological events outside of conscious awareness from neural activity associated with conscious visual awareness of those events. We have used those stimulus conditions in concert with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure neural responses in the posterior superior temporal sulcus (STSp), a crucial component in the neural network believed to underlie perception of biological motion. STSp was activated only when people actually perceived biological events and not when those events were registered outside of conscious awareness. These results provide direct evidence in support of the growing conviction that STSp, situated uniquely at the confluence of dorsal and ventral stream pathways, is intimately involved in actual perception of biologically relevant events.

키워드

biological motion, binocular rivalry, STSp, conscious visual awareness, fMRI

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