NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ937470
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0028-3932
The Signer and the Sign: Cortical Correlates of Person Identity and Language Processing from Point-Light Displays
Campbell, Ruth; Capek, Cheryl M.; Gazarian, Karine; MacSweeney, Mairead; Woll, Bencie; David, Anthony S.; McGuire, Philip K.; Brammer, Michael J.
Neuropsychologia, v49 n11 p3018-3026 Sep 2011
In this study, the first to explore the cortical correlates of signed language (SL) processing under point-light display conditions, the observer identified either a signer or a lexical sign from a display in which different signers were seen producing a number of different individual signs. Many of the regions activated by point-light under these conditions replicated those previously reported for full-image displays, including regions within the inferior temporal cortex that are specialised for face and body-part identification, although such body parts were invisible in the display. Right frontal regions were also recruited--a pattern not usually seen in full-image SL processing. This activation may reflect the recruitment of information about person identity from the reduced display. A direct comparison of identify-signer and identify-sign conditions showed these tasks relied to a different extent on the posterior inferior regions. Signer identification elicited greater activation than sign identification in (bilateral) inferior temporal gyri (BA 37/19), fusiform gyri (BA 37), middle and posterior portions of the middle temporal gyri (BAs 37 and 19), and superior temporal gyri (BA 22 and 42). Right inferior frontal cortex was a further focus of differential activation (signer greater than sign). These findings suggest that the neural systems supporting point-light displays for the processing of SL rely on a cortical network including areas of the inferior temporal cortex specialized for face and body identification. While this might be predicted from other studies of whole body point-light actions (Vaina, Solomon, Chowdhury, Sinha, & Belliveau, 2001) it is not predicted from the perspective of spoken language processing, where voice characteristics and speech content recruit distinct cortical regions (Stevens, 2004) in addition to a common network. In this respect, our findings contrast with studies of voice/speech recognition (Von Kriegstein, Kleinschmidt, Sterzer, & Giraud, 2005). Inferior temporal regions associated with the visual recognition of a person appear to be required during SL processing, for both carrier and content information. (Contains 3 tables and 3 figures.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A