Journal of Neuroscience vol:26 issue:22 pages:5929-5947
Although the role of the middle temporal (MT/V5) area and its medial superior temporal (MST) satellites in motion processing has been well explored, relatively little is known about motion regions located more rostrally in the superior temporal sulcus (STS), such as the fundus of the superior temporal (FST) area, the superior temporal polysensory (STP) region, or beyond. To fill this void, we used contrast-enhanced functional magnetic resonance imaging in awake macaques and a five-step testing procedure that allowed us to identify six motion-sensitive regions within the STS. Direction adaptation tests confirmed the motion sensitivity of these six regions. Five of them [MT/V5, its three satellites, and the middle part of the STP (STPm) region in the upper bank of the STS] have been documented by previous single-cell studies. A sixth, previously unknown motion-responsive region, which we termed the lower superior temporal (LST) region, was observed on the lower bank and fundus of the STS, 6-8 mm anterior to the FST area. In contrast to the MST areas, the LST region responds to slow as well as fast speeds and is responsive to static and moving images of objects, to patterns defined by opponent motion, and to actions. These results, obtained in both group and single-subject analyses, suggest that motion information in the STS might follow a second path, in addition to the MT/V5-MST path. This ventral path including the LST region, FST area, and STPm region is likely involved in the visual analysis of actions and biological motion.