[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/119801]
Prof Samuel Berkovic
Prof Graeme Jackson
Brief description This project aims to study human brain regions active in viewing movements of the body, face and hands, as well as gestures (i.e. movements with meaning). We will map the location of these human motion sensitive brain regions relative to brain areas dealing with other visual functions. We will use a new method of brain scanning (functional MRI) and recordings of the electrical activity of the brain to achieve these goals. Subjects for this project will be epilepsy patients undergoing investigation for seizure surgery at the A and RMC and Royal Children's Hospitals in Melbourne. Functional MRI - a new non-invasive method for studying brain function - will locate the brain structures involved in the detection and analysis of human motion. Recording electrodes are surgically placed inside the brains of these patients in order to find the source of their seizures, and these electrodes will be utilised for this study. A number of facial, hand and body movement and gestural stimuli will be used. First, brain locations responding to face, hand and body movements will be identified. It is predicted that regions sensitive to hand motion could be located near areas known to participate in adjusting the subject's own visually-guided reaching behaviour. Similarly, regions sensitive to facial motion could be located near areas thought to deal with lip-reading. Second, differences in brain activity to gestures and movements of the face and hand will be studied, so as identify brain regions that process increasingly complex information. Third, differences in brain responses to incompatible (e.g. head facing left and moving right) versus compatible human motion will be studied. A brain 'map' with locations of these human motion sensitive regions relative to visually sensitive regions will be generated. These data will not only aid planning for future seizure surgery, but have implications for our understanding of the visual aspects of motor apraxia.
Funding Amount $AUD 135,822.44
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
Standard Project Grant