Enhanced extrastriate activation during observation of distorted finger postures.

Journal of cognitive neuroscience

PubMedID: 12965039

Avikainen S, Liuhanen S, Schürmann M, Hari R. Enhanced extrastriate activation during observation of distorted finger postures. J Cogn Neurosci. 2003;15(5):658-63.
Hand and finger postures of other people are important body language cues that strongly contribute to the observer's decision about the person's intentions, thoughts, and attentional state. We compared neuromagnetic cortical activation elicited by color images of natural and distorted finger postures. The distorted postures contained computer-deformed joint angles and thereby easily caught the observer's attention. From about 260 msec onwards, extrastriate occipital areas of both hemispheres were activated more strongly by distorted than natural finger postures. We interpret this result as an early top-down effect of emotional valence on the processing of unusual hand shapes in the extrastriate visual cortex.