Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Dual Functions of Sight – Perception and Action – Demonstrated for First Time

07.03.2006


The dissociation in the visual system between two separate functions – one that enables us to identify objects and the other to interact with them – has been clearly demonstrated for the first time in healthy humans by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


illustration of eye



These separate vision-related actions have been documented from the beginning of the 20th century in patients who suffered damage to the visual system as a result of illness or injuries in which one or the other function – identification or action – was damaged.

For example, persons suffering from ataxia are able to verbally identify an object presented to them but have difficulty in grasping it, while those who have agnosia can grasp an object if handed to them but are unable to name or indicate the position, size or texture of the object.


This dissociation between action and perception suggests the existence of two separate visual streams However, despite the wide research triggered by this theoretical concept, it had not been proved in subjects in whom both streams are functioning normally.

Now, through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Prof. Ehud Zohary and his graduate student Lior Shmuelof of the Department of Neurobiology at the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences at the Hebrew University have been able to demonstrate dissociation between perception of objects and actions in the brains of healthy persons. An article detailing their findings was published as the cover story in the journal Neuron.

In the article, the researchers described how they were able to observe dissociation between dorsal and ventral activation patterns in the brains of participants who were shown video scenes of objects and actions directed towards those objects.

What Shmuelof and Zohary saw in the fMRI images were that a complex in the occipito-temporal cortex area of the brain responded to the identity of an object presented on the screen, while a different complex in the parietal lobe region reacted when the subjects were shown actions directed at those objects.

The researchers point out that the areas of the brain responsible for motor action were activated when the experimental subjects were shown scenes of action, even though the subjects were in a passive state, viewing only video clips presenting actions by others, and were not involved in any way with the activities being screened.

What this suggests is that there is an interrelationship between guiding of our own actions and understanding actions taken by others – a kind of “stepping into another’s shoes” that may be one of the bases underlying social communication.

Jerry Barach | alfa
Further information:
http://www.huji.ac.il

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>