ABSTRACT

인간은 ‘신체 언어’ -신체의 움직임을 표현하는 동적 정보-를 활용하여 다른 사람을 식별하거나, 다른 사람이 지닌 의도를 해석하는데 특별한 능력을 보인다. 이와 같은 지각 능력이 지닌 사회적 중요성을 반영하듯, 인간의 두뇌는 인간의 활동을 나타내는 운동 정보에 선택적으로 반응하는 신경 기제를 지니고 있다. 이러한 정보에는 제한된 수의 점을 활용하여 몸과 사지의 움직임을 나타내는 ‘생물형 운동’이 포함된다. 본 연구에서는 생물적 중요성을 지니는 사건의 제시가 의식적 자각을 동반할 때와 동반하지 않을 때에 각각 관여하는 신경 활동을 구별할 수 있는 자극 제시 조건을 설계하였다. 이러한 자극 조건과 함께 기능적 자기 공명 영상을 활용하여, 생물형 운동 지각의 기저 신경망에서 핵심적인 요소로 알려진 STSp 영역의 신경 반응을 측정하였다. 그 결과, STSp는 피험자가 생물적 중요성을 지니는 사건을 실제로 지각할 때에만 활성화되고, 이러한 사건이 의식적으로 자각되지 않을 때에는 활성화되지 않음을 발견하였다. 본 연구의 결과는 등 쪽과 배 쪽 시각 정보 처리 경로의 합류 지점에 위치한 STSp 영역이, 생물적 중요성을 지니는 사건의 의식적 지각에 긴밀히 관여할 것이라는 가설을 지지하는 최초의 직접적인 증거로서 그 의의를 지닌다.

KEYWORD

생물형 운동, 양안 경쟁, STSp, 의식적 시자각, fMRI

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