Visual perception of motion and 3-D structure from motion: An fMRI study

A. L. Paradis, V. Cornilleau-Pérès, J. Droulez, P. F. Van De Moortele, E. Lobel, A. Berthoz, D. Le Bihan, J. B. Poline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to study the cortical bases of 3-D structure perception from visual motion in human. Nine subjects underwent three experiments designed to locate the areas involved in (i) motion processing (random motion versus static dots), (ii) coherent motion processing (expansion/contraction versus random motion) and (iii) 3-D shops from motion reconstruction (3-D surface oscillating in depth versus random motion). Two control experiments tested the specific influence of speed distribution and surface curvature on the activation results. All stimuli consisted of random dots so that motion parallax was the only cue available for 3-D shape perception. As expected, random motion compared with static dots induced strong activity in areas V1/V2, V5+ and the superior occipital gyrus (SOG; presumptive V3/V3A). V1/V2 and V5+ showed no activity increase when comparing coherent motion (expansion or 3-D surface) with random motion. Conversely, V3/V3A and the dorsal parieto-occipital junction were highlighted in both comparisons and showed gradually increased activity for random motion, coherent motion and a curved surface rotating in depth, which suggests their involvement in the coding of 3-D shape from motion. Also, the writing aspect of the left occipito-temporal junction was found to be equally responsive to random and coherent motion stimuli, but showed a specific sensitivity to curved 3-D surfaces compared with plane surfaces. As this region is already known to be involved in the coding of static object shape, our results suggest that it might integrate various cues for the perception of 3-D shape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)772-783
Number of pages12
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2000


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