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Body language in the brain: constructing meaning from expressive movement.

Tipper CM, Signorini G, Grafton ST - Front Hum Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: A repetition suppression (RS) procedure was used to identify brain regions that decoded the meaningful affective state of a performer, as evidenced by decreased activity when emotive themes were repeated in successive performances.RS was observed bilaterally, extending anteriorly along middle and superior temporal gyri into temporal pole, medially into insula, rostrally into inferior orbitofrontal cortex, and caudally into hippocampus and amygdala.There was greater RS in left hemisphere, suggesting that the more abstract metaphors used to express themes in dance compared to pantomime posed a greater challenge to brain substrates directly involved in decoding those themes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, Canada ; Mental Health and Integrated Neurobehavioral Development Research Core, Child and Family Research Institute Vancouver, BC, Canada.

ABSTRACT
This fMRI study investigated neural systems that interpret body language-the meaningful emotive expressions conveyed by body movement. Participants watched videos of performers engaged in modern dance or pantomime that conveyed specific themes such as hope, agony, lust, or exhaustion. We tested whether the meaning of an affectively laden performance was decoded in localized brain substrates as a distinct property of action separable from other superficial features, such as choreography, kinematics, performer, and low-level visual stimuli. A repetition suppression (RS) procedure was used to identify brain regions that decoded the meaningful affective state of a performer, as evidenced by decreased activity when emotive themes were repeated in successive performances. Because the theme was the only feature repeated across video clips that were otherwise entirely different, the occurrence of RS identified brain substrates that differentially coded the specific meaning of expressive performances. RS was observed bilaterally, extending anteriorly along middle and superior temporal gyri into temporal pole, medially into insula, rostrally into inferior orbitofrontal cortex, and caudally into hippocampus and amygdala. Behavioral data on a separate task indicated that interpreting themes from modern dance was more difficult than interpreting pantomime; a result that was also reflected in the fMRI data. There was greater RS in left hemisphere, suggesting that the more abstract metaphors used to express themes in dance compared to pantomime posed a greater challenge to brain substrates directly involved in decoding those themes. We propose that the meaning-sensitive temporal-orbitofrontal regions observed here comprise a superordinate functional module of a known hierarchical action observation network (AON), which is critical to the construction of meaning from expressive movement. The findings are discussed with respect to a predictive coding model of action understanding.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

BOLD suppression (RS) reveals brain substrates for “reading” body language. Regions involved in decoding meaning in body language showing were isolated by testing for BOLD suppression when the intended theme of an expressive performance was repeated across trials. To identify regions showing RS, BOLD activity associated with novel themes was contrasted with BOLD activity associated with repeated themes (p < 0.05, cluster corrected in FSL). Significantly greater activity for novel relative to repeated themes was evidence of RS. Given that the intended theme of a performance was the only element that was repeated between trials, regions showing RS revealed brain substrates that were sensitive to the specific meaning infused into a movement sequence by a performer. Number labels correspond to those listed in Table 3, which provides anatomical names and voxel coordinates for key clusters showing significant RS. Blue shaded area indicates vertical extent of axial slices shown.
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Figure 5: BOLD suppression (RS) reveals brain substrates for “reading” body language. Regions involved in decoding meaning in body language showing were isolated by testing for BOLD suppression when the intended theme of an expressive performance was repeated across trials. To identify regions showing RS, BOLD activity associated with novel themes was contrasted with BOLD activity associated with repeated themes (p < 0.05, cluster corrected in FSL). Significantly greater activity for novel relative to repeated themes was evidence of RS. Given that the intended theme of a performance was the only element that was repeated between trials, regions showing RS revealed brain substrates that were sensitive to the specific meaning infused into a movement sequence by a performer. Number labels correspond to those listed in Table 3, which provides anatomical names and voxel coordinates for key clusters showing significant RS. Blue shaded area indicates vertical extent of axial slices shown.

Mentions: To isolate brain areas that decipher meaning conveyed by expressive body movement, regions showing RS (reduced BOLD activity for repeated compared to novel themes) were identified. Since theme was the only stimulus dimension repeated systematically across trials for this comparison, decreased activation for repeated themes could not be attributed to physical features of the stimulus such as particular movements, performers, or camera viewpoints. Figure 5 illustrates brain areas showing significant suppression for repeated themes (p < 0.05, cluster corrected in FSL). Table 3 presents the MNI coordinates for selected voxels within significant clusters. RS was found bilaterally on the rostral bank of the middle temporal gyrus extending into temporal pole and orbitofrontal cortex. There was also significant suppression in bilateral amygdala and insular cortex.


Body language in the brain: constructing meaning from expressive movement.

Tipper CM, Signorini G, Grafton ST - Front Hum Neurosci (2015)

BOLD suppression (RS) reveals brain substrates for “reading” body language. Regions involved in decoding meaning in body language showing were isolated by testing for BOLD suppression when the intended theme of an expressive performance was repeated across trials. To identify regions showing RS, BOLD activity associated with novel themes was contrasted with BOLD activity associated with repeated themes (p < 0.05, cluster corrected in FSL). Significantly greater activity for novel relative to repeated themes was evidence of RS. Given that the intended theme of a performance was the only element that was repeated between trials, regions showing RS revealed brain substrates that were sensitive to the specific meaning infused into a movement sequence by a performer. Number labels correspond to those listed in Table 3, which provides anatomical names and voxel coordinates for key clusters showing significant RS. Blue shaded area indicates vertical extent of axial slices shown.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4543892&req=5

Figure 5: BOLD suppression (RS) reveals brain substrates for “reading” body language. Regions involved in decoding meaning in body language showing were isolated by testing for BOLD suppression when the intended theme of an expressive performance was repeated across trials. To identify regions showing RS, BOLD activity associated with novel themes was contrasted with BOLD activity associated with repeated themes (p < 0.05, cluster corrected in FSL). Significantly greater activity for novel relative to repeated themes was evidence of RS. Given that the intended theme of a performance was the only element that was repeated between trials, regions showing RS revealed brain substrates that were sensitive to the specific meaning infused into a movement sequence by a performer. Number labels correspond to those listed in Table 3, which provides anatomical names and voxel coordinates for key clusters showing significant RS. Blue shaded area indicates vertical extent of axial slices shown.
Mentions: To isolate brain areas that decipher meaning conveyed by expressive body movement, regions showing RS (reduced BOLD activity for repeated compared to novel themes) were identified. Since theme was the only stimulus dimension repeated systematically across trials for this comparison, decreased activation for repeated themes could not be attributed to physical features of the stimulus such as particular movements, performers, or camera viewpoints. Figure 5 illustrates brain areas showing significant suppression for repeated themes (p < 0.05, cluster corrected in FSL). Table 3 presents the MNI coordinates for selected voxels within significant clusters. RS was found bilaterally on the rostral bank of the middle temporal gyrus extending into temporal pole and orbitofrontal cortex. There was also significant suppression in bilateral amygdala and insular cortex.

Bottom Line: A repetition suppression (RS) procedure was used to identify brain regions that decoded the meaningful affective state of a performer, as evidenced by decreased activity when emotive themes were repeated in successive performances.RS was observed bilaterally, extending anteriorly along middle and superior temporal gyri into temporal pole, medially into insula, rostrally into inferior orbitofrontal cortex, and caudally into hippocampus and amygdala.There was greater RS in left hemisphere, suggesting that the more abstract metaphors used to express themes in dance compared to pantomime posed a greater challenge to brain substrates directly involved in decoding those themes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, Canada ; Mental Health and Integrated Neurobehavioral Development Research Core, Child and Family Research Institute Vancouver, BC, Canada.

ABSTRACT
This fMRI study investigated neural systems that interpret body language-the meaningful emotive expressions conveyed by body movement. Participants watched videos of performers engaged in modern dance or pantomime that conveyed specific themes such as hope, agony, lust, or exhaustion. We tested whether the meaning of an affectively laden performance was decoded in localized brain substrates as a distinct property of action separable from other superficial features, such as choreography, kinematics, performer, and low-level visual stimuli. A repetition suppression (RS) procedure was used to identify brain regions that decoded the meaningful affective state of a performer, as evidenced by decreased activity when emotive themes were repeated in successive performances. Because the theme was the only feature repeated across video clips that were otherwise entirely different, the occurrence of RS identified brain substrates that differentially coded the specific meaning of expressive performances. RS was observed bilaterally, extending anteriorly along middle and superior temporal gyri into temporal pole, medially into insula, rostrally into inferior orbitofrontal cortex, and caudally into hippocampus and amygdala. Behavioral data on a separate task indicated that interpreting themes from modern dance was more difficult than interpreting pantomime; a result that was also reflected in the fMRI data. There was greater RS in left hemisphere, suggesting that the more abstract metaphors used to express themes in dance compared to pantomime posed a greater challenge to brain substrates directly involved in decoding those themes. We propose that the meaning-sensitive temporal-orbitofrontal regions observed here comprise a superordinate functional module of a known hierarchical action observation network (AON), which is critical to the construction of meaning from expressive movement. The findings are discussed with respect to a predictive coding model of action understanding.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus