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Does your EBA response to my bum look big? Differential sensitivity to body orientation in the extrastriate body area
LAWSON, R.P., EWBANK, M.P., HENSON, R.N., CALDER, A.J.
Journal of Vision, 10(7), 686
Year of publication:
Body orientation is an important cue to the direction of others' attention, especially when cues from the head are insufficient or obscured. Neurophysiological research has revealed cells in macaque temporal cortex that respond selectively to different directions of seen body orientation in the absence of head or face based cues (Wachsmuth, Oram, & Perrett, 1994) and recent adaptation research suggests that humans possess a similar form of separable coding for different body directions (Lawson, Clifford, & Calder, 2009). This study employs fMRI to investigate the coding of body orientation in two previously identified body-sensitive regions of human visual cortex – the extrastriate body area (EBA) (Downing, 2001) and the fusiform body area (FBA) (Peelen & Downing, 2005). In each block, images of bodies were shown at either a front facing viewpoint (0°) or at 60°, 120° or 180° rotations away from 0°. The results showed that the EBA, but not the FBA, is sensitive to the orientation of the body, furthermore, the EBA shows a greater response to bodies oriented away from 0° (front facing). These results have implications for our understanding of the functional role of these regions in the processing of human bodies.