Departmental Papers (Psychology)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

9-2006

Publication Source

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

Volume

18

Issue

9

Start Page

1498

Last Page

1517

DOI

10.1162/jocn.2006.18.9.1498

Abstract

The ability to recognize actions is important for cognitive development and social cognition. Areas in the lateral occipitotemporal cortex show increased activity when subjects view action sequences; however, whether this activity distinguishes between specific actions as necessary for action recognition is unclear. We used a functional magnetic resonance imaging adaptation paradigm to test for brain regions that exhibit action-specific activity. Subjects watched a series of action sequences in which the action performed or the person performing the action could be repeated from a previous scan. Three regions—the superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), human motion-sensitive cortex (MT/MST), and extrastriate body area (EBA)—showed decreased activity for previously seen actions, even when the actions were novel exemplars because the persons involved had not been seen previously. These action-specific adaptation effects provide compelling evidence that representations in the pSTS, MT/MST, and EBA abstract actions from the agents involved and distinguish between different particular actions.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This article was originally published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience (http://www.mitpressjournals.org/forthcoming/jocn). This version is made available under authorization of MIT Press.

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Date Posted: 06 December 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.