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Neural Correlates of Animacy Attribution Include Neocerebellum in Healthy Adults.


ABSTRACT: Recent work suggests that biological motion perception is supported by interactions between posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and regions of the posterior lobe of the cerebellum. However, insufficient attention has been given to cerebellar contributions to most other social cognitive functions, including ones that rely upon the use of biological motion cues for making mental inferences. Here, using adapted Heider and Simmel stimuli in a passive-viewing paradigm, we present functional magnetic resonance imaging evidence detailing cerebellar contributions to animacy attribution processes in healthy adults. We found robust cerebellar activity associated with viewing animate versus random movement in hemispheric lobule VII bilaterally as well as in vermal and paravermal lobule IX. Stronger activity in left Crus I and lobule VI was associated with a greater tendency to describe the stimuli in social-affective versus motion-related terms. Psychophysiological interaction analysis indicated preferential effective connectivity between right pSTS and left Crus II during the viewing of animate than random stimuli, controlling for individual variance in social attributions. These findings indicate that lobules VI, VII, and IX participate in social functions even when no active response is required. This cerebellar activity may also partially explain individual differences in animacy attribution.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4626832 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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