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Implied motion because of instability in Hokusai Manga activates the human motion-sensitive extrastriate visual cortex: an fMRI study of the impact of visual art

Osaka, Naoyukia; Matsuyoshi, Daisukea; Ikeda, Takashia; Osaka, Marikob

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e328335b371

The recent development of cognitive neuroscience has invited inference about the neurosensory events underlying the experience of visual arts involving implied motion. We report functional magnetic resonance imaging study demonstrating activation of the human extrastriate motion-sensitive cortex by static images showing implied motion because of instability. We used static line-drawing cartoons of humans by Hokusai Katsushika (called ‘Hokusai Manga’), an outstanding Japanese cartoonist as well as famous Ukiyoe artist. We found ‘Hokusai Manga’ with implied motion by depicting human bodies that are engaged in challenging tonic posture significantly activated the motion-sensitive visual cortex including MT+ in the human extrastriate cortex, while an illustration that does not imply motion, for either humans or objects, did not activate these areas under the same tasks. We conclude that motion-sensitive extrastriate cortex would be a critical region for perception of implied motion in instability.

aDepartment of Psychology, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University

bDepartment of Brain and Cognition, Graduate School of Human Science, Osaka University, Japan

Correspondence to Dr Naoyuki Osaka, PhD, Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan

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Received 11 October 2009 accepted 17 November 2009

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.