The responsiveness of biological motion processing areas to selective attention towards goals.

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TitleThe responsiveness of biological motion processing areas to selective attention towards goals.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsHerrington, J, Nymberg, C, Faja, S, Price, E, Schultz, R
JournalNeuroimage
Volume63
Issue1
Pagination581-90
Date Published2012 Oct 15
ISSN1095-9572
KeywordsAdult, Attention, Brain, Brain Mapping, Executive Function, Female, Goals, Humans, Male, Motion Perception, Nerve Net, Reproducibility of Results, Sensitivity and Specificity
Abstract

A growing literature indicates that visual cortex areas viewed as primarily responsive to exogenous stimuli are susceptible to top-down modulation by selective attention. The present study examines whether brain areas involved in biological motion perception are among these areas-particularly with respect to selective attention towards human movement goals. Fifteen participants completed a point-light biological motion study following a two-by-two factorial design, with one factor representing an exogenous manipulation of human movement goals (goal-directed versus random movement), and the other an endogenous manipulation (a goal identification task versus an ancillary color-change task). Both manipulations yielded increased activation in the human homologue of motion-sensitive area MT+ (hMT+) as well as the extrastriate body area (EBA). The endogenous manipulation was associated with increased right posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS) activation, whereas the exogenous manipulation was associated with increased activation in left posterior STS. Selective attention towards goals activated a portion of left hMT+/EBA only during the perception of purposeful movement-consistent with emerging theories associating this area with the matching of visual motion input to known goal-directed actions. The overall pattern of results indicates that attention towards the goals of human movement activates biological motion areas. Ultimately, selective attention may explain why some studies examining biological motion show activation in hMT+ and EBA, even when using control stimuli with comparable motion properties.

DOI10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.06.077
Alternate JournalNeuroimage
PubMed ID22796987
PubMed Central IDPMC3482123
Grant ListK99 HD071966 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
T32 MH018268 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
T32 MH18268 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
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