Bodies in motion: Unraveling the distinct roles of motion and shape in dynamic body responses in the temporal cortex

Type of Publication:
Raman, Rajani
Bognar, Anna
Nejad, Ghazaleh Ghamkhari
Taubert, Nick
Giese, Martin A.
Vogels, Rufin
Cell Rep. 2023 Dec 26; 42(12): 113438.

The temporal cortex represents social stimuli, including bodies. We examine and compare the contributions of dynamic and static features to the single-unit responses to moving monkey bodies in and between a patch in the anterior dorsal bank of the superior temporal sulcus (dorsal patch [DP]) and patches in the anterior inferotemporal cortex (ventral patch [VP]), using fMRI guidance in macaques. The response to dynamics varies within both regions, being higher in DP. The dynamic body selectivity of VP neurons correlates with static features derived from convolutional neural networks and motion. DP neurons’ dynamic body selectivity is not predicted by static features but is dominated by motion. Whereas these data support the dominance of motion in the newly proposed ‘‘dynamic social perception’’ stream, they challenge the traditional view that distinguishes DP and VP processing in terms of motion versus static features, underscoring the role of inferotemporal neurons in representing body dynamics.