Author(s): Sirigu A, Daprati E, PradatDiehl P, Franck N, Jeannerod M
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Abstract Three apraxic patients with lesions in the left parietal cortex were required to execute finger movements with either hand, while the visual feedback they received about the movement was manipulated systematically. We used a device which allowed us to present on a video monitor either the patient's hand or the examiner's hand simultaneously performing an identical or a different movement. In each trial, patients were required to decide whether the hand shown on the screen was their own or not. Hand movements produced in response to verbal command included simple (single-finger extension) and complex gestures (multi-finger extension). Ownership judgements were analysed and compared with those produced by six normal controls and two non-apraxic neurological patients. Apraxic patients and controls accurately recognized their own hand on the screen (own movement condition) and correctly identified the viewed hand as the examiner's when it performed a movement different from their own movement (incongruent movement condition). However, when the viewed hand was the examiner's hand executing their own movement (congruent movement condition), apraxic patients were significantly more impaired than controls. When the results were analysed as a function of gesture type, the number of correct responses was significantly lower for apraxic patients with respect to controls only for complex gestures. Interestingly, when patients executed the finger gestures inaccurately, they still failed to recognize the examiner's hand as alien, and claimed that the correct movement presented on the screen was their own. These results confirm that parietal lesions alter the representational aspects of gestures, and suggest a failure in evaluating and comparing internal and external feedback about movement. We conclude that the parietal cortex plays an important role in generating and maintaining a kinaesthetic model of ongoing movements.
This article was published in Brain
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation