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Effective connectivity during animacy perception--dynamic causal modelling of Human Connectome Project data.

Hillebrandt H, Friston KJ, Blakemore SJ - Sci Rep (2014)

Bottom Line: Predictions about animate motion - relative to inanimate motion - should result in prediction error and increase signal passing from lower level sensory area MT+/V5, which is responsive to all motion, to higher-order posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), which is selectively activated by animate motion.We found that forward connectivity from V5 to the pSTS increased, and inhibitory self-connection in the pSTS decreased, when viewing intentional motion versus inanimate motion.These prediction errors associated with animate motion may be the cause for increased attention to animate stimuli found in previous studies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, WC1N 3AR, United Kingdom [2] Moral Cognition Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 02138, United States.

ABSTRACT
Biological agents are the most complex systems humans have to model and predict. In predictive coding, high-level cortical areas inform sensory cortex about incoming sensory signals, a comparison between the predicted and actual sensory feedback is made, and information about unpredicted sensory information is passed forward to higher-level areas. Predictions about animate motion - relative to inanimate motion - should result in prediction error and increase signal passing from lower level sensory area MT+/V5, which is responsive to all motion, to higher-order posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), which is selectively activated by animate motion. We tested this hypothesis by investigating effective connectivity in a large-scale fMRI dataset from the Human Connectome Project. 132 participants viewed animations of triangles that were designed to move in a way that appeared animate (moving intentionally), or inanimate (moving in a mechanical way). We found that forward connectivity from V5 to the pSTS increased, and inhibitory self-connection in the pSTS decreased, when viewing intentional motion versus inanimate motion. These prediction errors associated with animate motion may be the cause for increased attention to animate stimuli found in previous studies.

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Example of “Theory of Mind” animation: The Big Triangle coaxing the reluctant Little Triangle to come out of an enclosure (participants do not see captions; stimuli and description adapted from13.)
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f1: Example of “Theory of Mind” animation: The Big Triangle coaxing the reluctant Little Triangle to come out of an enclosure (participants do not see captions; stimuli and description adapted from13.)

Mentions: The following abbreviated overview is taken from Barch et al.18. A well-validated task was used to probe animacy and agency detection. The stimuli have been shown to generate robust task-related activations that are reliable across participants in brain regions associated with social cognition (Castelli et al., 2000, Castelli et al., 2002, Wheatley et al., 2007 and White et al., 2011 as cited in ref. 19). Participants viewed short video clips (20 s) of objects (squares, circles, triangles) either interacting in some way (Animate motion), or moving mechanically (Inanimate motion)18. The basic visual characteristics in terms of shape, overall speed and orientation changes were matched between stimulus categories13. After each video clip, participants rated the video by choosing from three different options, depending on whether the objects contained a social interaction (an interaction in which the shapes appear to be taking each other's feelings and thoughts into account), Not Sure, or No interaction (i.e., there is no obvious interaction between the shapes and the movement appears random). Each of the two task sessions comprised 5 video blocks (2 Animate and 3 Inanimate in first session, 3 Animate and 2 Inanimate in the other session). Note that even though there were an unequal number of videos per conditions within each session, all our analyses took into account the data of both sessions at once, and thus our effects were not influenced by session specific effects. There were also 5 fixation blocks (15 s each); each video block was followed by a fixation block. Of note, the video clips were shortened to 20 s (the Castelli et al.13 clips were originally 40 s) by either splitting the videos in two or truncating them. A pilot study by Barch et al.18 confirmed that participants rated these shorter videos similarly. Figure 1 shows stills from an example of an Animate motion video.


Effective connectivity during animacy perception--dynamic causal modelling of Human Connectome Project data.

Hillebrandt H, Friston KJ, Blakemore SJ - Sci Rep (2014)

Example of “Theory of Mind” animation: The Big Triangle coaxing the reluctant Little Triangle to come out of an enclosure (participants do not see captions; stimuli and description adapted from13.)
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4150124&req=5

f1: Example of “Theory of Mind” animation: The Big Triangle coaxing the reluctant Little Triangle to come out of an enclosure (participants do not see captions; stimuli and description adapted from13.)
Mentions: The following abbreviated overview is taken from Barch et al.18. A well-validated task was used to probe animacy and agency detection. The stimuli have been shown to generate robust task-related activations that are reliable across participants in brain regions associated with social cognition (Castelli et al., 2000, Castelli et al., 2002, Wheatley et al., 2007 and White et al., 2011 as cited in ref. 19). Participants viewed short video clips (20 s) of objects (squares, circles, triangles) either interacting in some way (Animate motion), or moving mechanically (Inanimate motion)18. The basic visual characteristics in terms of shape, overall speed and orientation changes were matched between stimulus categories13. After each video clip, participants rated the video by choosing from three different options, depending on whether the objects contained a social interaction (an interaction in which the shapes appear to be taking each other's feelings and thoughts into account), Not Sure, or No interaction (i.e., there is no obvious interaction between the shapes and the movement appears random). Each of the two task sessions comprised 5 video blocks (2 Animate and 3 Inanimate in first session, 3 Animate and 2 Inanimate in the other session). Note that even though there were an unequal number of videos per conditions within each session, all our analyses took into account the data of both sessions at once, and thus our effects were not influenced by session specific effects. There were also 5 fixation blocks (15 s each); each video block was followed by a fixation block. Of note, the video clips were shortened to 20 s (the Castelli et al.13 clips were originally 40 s) by either splitting the videos in two or truncating them. A pilot study by Barch et al.18 confirmed that participants rated these shorter videos similarly. Figure 1 shows stills from an example of an Animate motion video.

Bottom Line: Predictions about animate motion - relative to inanimate motion - should result in prediction error and increase signal passing from lower level sensory area MT+/V5, which is responsive to all motion, to higher-order posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), which is selectively activated by animate motion.We found that forward connectivity from V5 to the pSTS increased, and inhibitory self-connection in the pSTS decreased, when viewing intentional motion versus inanimate motion.These prediction errors associated with animate motion may be the cause for increased attention to animate stimuli found in previous studies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: 1] Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, WC1N 3AR, United Kingdom [2] Moral Cognition Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 02138, United States.

ABSTRACT
Biological agents are the most complex systems humans have to model and predict. In predictive coding, high-level cortical areas inform sensory cortex about incoming sensory signals, a comparison between the predicted and actual sensory feedback is made, and information about unpredicted sensory information is passed forward to higher-level areas. Predictions about animate motion - relative to inanimate motion - should result in prediction error and increase signal passing from lower level sensory area MT+/V5, which is responsive to all motion, to higher-order posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), which is selectively activated by animate motion. We tested this hypothesis by investigating effective connectivity in a large-scale fMRI dataset from the Human Connectome Project. 132 participants viewed animations of triangles that were designed to move in a way that appeared animate (moving intentionally), or inanimate (moving in a mechanical way). We found that forward connectivity from V5 to the pSTS increased, and inhibitory self-connection in the pSTS decreased, when viewing intentional motion versus inanimate motion. These prediction errors associated with animate motion may be the cause for increased attention to animate stimuli found in previous studies.

Show MeSH