VISUAL SENSITIVITY TO BODY MOTION AND SOCIAL COGNITION

  • Marina Pavlova

Abstract

Bodily movements help to improve our social communication by means of non-verbal information about social properties. Observers can discriminate between deceptive and true intentions conveyed by body dynamics, and true information is precisely detected despite deceptive endeavours. Brain imaging data point to existence of distributed networks that subserve revealing of social attributes through body dynamics. The right superior temporal sulcus is repeatedly reported to be a substantial part of these networks. Our MEG findings support this view shedding light on the temporal cortical dynamics. In particular, revealing of cortical regions in which the visual sensitivity to body motion parallels MEG cortical activity help to uncover temporal and spatial dynamics of the networks involved in social cognition. By using clinical models of abnormal development, namely, patients with early periventricular lesions and autistic spectrum disorders, we show that structural and functional brain connectivity is of immense importance for proper functioning of the networks underlying visual social perception.

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