Dissociation between ventral and dorsal fmri activation during object and action recognition

Lior Shmuelof, Ehud Zohary*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


Neuropsychological case studies suggest the existence of two functionally separate visual streams: the ventral pathway, central for object recognition; and the dorsal pathway, engaged in visually guided actions. However, a clear dissociation between the functions of the two streams has not been decisively shown in intact humans. In this study, we demonstrate dissociation between dorsal and ventral fMRI activation patterns during observation of object manipulation video clips. Parietal areas, such as anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS) display grasp viewing-dependent adaptation (i.e., fMR adaptation during repeated viewing of the same object-grasping movement) as well as a contralateral preference for the viewed manipulating hand. Ventral regions, such as the fusiform gyrus, show similar characteristics (i.e., adaptation, contralateral preference), but these depend on object identity. Our results support the hypothesized functional specialization in the visual system and suggest that parietal areas (such as aIPS) are engaged in action recognition, as well as in action planning.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)457-470
Number of pages14
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 Aug 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank A. Stark, T. Orlov, T. Makin, and A. Mckayton for insightful comments; T. Orlov for the help with the 3D cortex reconstructions; and Y. Shalitin for his assistance in the cover design. This study was funded by the Israel Science foundation of the Israel Academy of Sciences grant # 80009 and the Mcdonell-Pew foundation grant # 220020046.


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