Cortical and subcortical responses to biological motion

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Using fMRI and multivariate analyses we sought to understand the neural representations of articulated body shape and local kinematics in biological motion. We show that in addition to a cortical network that includes areas identified previously for biological motion perception, including the posterior superior temporal sulcus, inferior frontal gyrus, and ventral body areas, the ventral lateral nucleus, a presumably motoric thalamic area is sensitive to both form and kinematic information in biological motion. Our findings suggest that biological motion perception is not achieved as an end-point of segregated cortical form and motion networks as often suggested, but instead involves earlier parts in the visual system including a subcortical network.HIGHLIGHTSBiological motion perception implicates both form-based and kinematic processes.We used fMRI to examine neural responses to biological motion.Form and kinematics information are reflected widely in cortex.A presumably motoric thalamic nucleus (VLN) also responds to biological motion.

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