Visual gravity cues in the interpretation of biological movements: Neural correlates in humans

Vincenzo Maffei, Iole Indovina, Emiliano Macaluso, Yuri P. Ivanenko, Guy A. Orban, Francesco Lacquaniti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Our visual system takes into account the effects of Earth gravity to interpret biological motion (BM), but the neural substrates of this process remain unclear. Here we measured functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) signals while participants viewed intact or scrambled stick-figure animations of walking, running, hopping, and skipping recorded at normal or reduced gravity. We found that regions sensitive to BM configuration in the occipito-temporal cortex (OTC) were more active for reduced than normal gravity but with intact stimuli only. Effective connectivity analysis suggests that predictive coding of gravity effects underlies BM interpretation. This process might be implemented by a family of snapshot neurons involved in action monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroImage
Volume104
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

Keywords

  • Action observation
  • Biological motion
  • DCM
  • Gravity
  • Mismatch detection
  • Predictive code

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Medicine(all)

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