Neural substrates of processing path and manner information of a moving event

Denise H. Wu, Anne Morganti, Anjan Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Languages consistently distinguish the path and the manner of a moving event in different constituents, even if the specific constituents themselves vary across languages. Children also learn to categorize moving events according to their path and manner at different ages. Motivated by these linguistic and developmental observations, we employed fMRI to test the hypothesis that perception of and attention to path and manner of motion is segregated neurally. Moreover, we hypothesize that such segregation respects the "dorsal-where and ventral-what" organizational principle of vision. Consistent with this proposal, we found that attention to the path of a moving event was associated with greater activity within bilateral inferior/superior parietal lobules and the frontal eye-field, while attention to manner was associated with greater activity within bilateral postero-lateral inferior/middle temporal regions. Our data provide evidence that motion perception, traditionally considered as a dorsal "where" visual attribute, further segregates into dorsal path and ventral manner attributes. This neural segregation of the components of motion, which are linguistically tagged, points to a perceptual counterpart of the functional organization of concepts and language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)704-713
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Categorization
  • Dorsal visual stream
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • Motion
  • Selective attention
  • Talmy


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