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This paper describes the development and application of a method for human action recognition from motion analysis in a sequence of images using an artificial neural network. The proposed method is based on two stages: Computer Vision and Computational Intelligence. The Computer Vision stage is a combination of two motion analysis techniques: Histogram of Oriented Optical Flow and Object Contour Analysis. For the Computational Intelligence stage we use a Self-Organizing Map (SOM) optimized through Learning Vector Quantization (LVQ). The approach is then applied for classification of human actions in many real situations. Testing against a database with different kinds of human actions, we show the usefulness and robustness of this method, comparing it to other proposals in the literature.