Body-selective areas in the visual cortex are less active in children than in adults

Ross, P. D., de Gelder, B., Crabbe, F. and Grosbras, M.-H. (2014) Body-selective areas in the visual cortex are less active in children than in adults. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8(941), (doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00941)

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Our ability to read other people’s non-verbal signals gets refined throughout childhood and adolescence. How this is paralleled by brain development has been investigated mainly with regards to face perception, showing a protracted functional development of the face-selective visual cortical areas. In view of the importance of whole-body expressions in interpersonal communication it is important to understand the development of brain areas sensitive to these social signals. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare brain activity in a group of 24 children (age 6-11) and 26 adults while they passively watched short videos of body or object movements. We observed activity in similar regions in both groups; namely the extra-striate body area (EBA), fusiform body area (FBA), posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), amygdala and premotor regions. Adults showed additional activity in the inferior frontal gyrus. Within the main body-selective regions (EBA, FBA and pSTS), the strength and spatial extent of fMRI signal change was larger in adults than in children. Multivariate Bayesian analysis showed that the spatial pattern of neural representation within those regions did not change over age. Our results indicate, for the first time, that body perception, like face perception, is still maturing through the second decade of life.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ross, Mr Patrick and Crabbe, Mrs Frances and Grosbras, Dr Marie-Helene
Authors: Ross, P. D., de Gelder, B., Crabbe, F., and Grosbras, M.-H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN (Online):1662-5161
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8(941)
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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