Last update: September 16, 2022
By BrainMatters


The perception of moving objects takes place in this area of the visual cortex. When this area is damaged, people see the world as consecutive still pictures. Most of the information about perceiving movement has been obtained from research in monkeys.


This area detects the direction and speed of moving objects. All the information captured by the eyes goes to the visual cortex. Here, the information is transmitted via the primary visual cortex (V1) to this area (V5), which processes the movement of objects within the visual field.

The neurons in this area are specialised in processing a specific direction of movement. For example, some neurons respond mainly to upward movements, while others respond to downward, leftward or rightward movements.


This area lies exactly on the border between the occipital, temporal and parietal lobes. This area is called the occipito-temporo-parietal pit. We can easily distinguish this area from other parts of the brain. This is because the neurons in V5 contain a lot of myelin.


Most research on perception of movement has been conducted in monkeys. In monkeys this area is called MT, which stands for the Middle Temporal Visual Area. The MT in monkeys is surrounded by other brain areas that respond to movement. In humans, the distinction between these areas has not yet been found. All these areas together in humans are therefore also called the Human Motion Complex, or V5.


Akinetopsia is a disorder associated with damage to this area. In this case, patients are no longer able to see movements. These people see the world as a series of still pictures. For patients with akinetopsia, it is therefore very dangerous to cross a street, as they cannot perceive the movement of moving cars. The patients have difficulties with many everyday actions, such as pouring a cup of tea. They cannot see the rising tea in the cup and cannot estimate when the cup is full.

Author: Myrthe Princen (translated by Thomas von Rein)

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