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The internal control of action and Parkinson's disease: a kinematic analysis of visually-guided and memory-guided prehension movements

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Abstract

This paper reports two experiments which examined the effects of Parkinson's disease (PD) upon the sensorimotor mechanisms used to control prehension movements. Transport and grasp kinematics for visually-guided and memory-guided prehension movements were examined in healthy control subjects and compared against those of patients with idiopathic PD. Two research questions were addressed: (1) Are patients with PD particularly susceptible to distraction by non-relevant objects? (2) Are patients with PD especially reliant on external feedback when executing goal-directed actions? The results indicated that the patient group were no more susceptible to distraction by non-relevant objects than the control group. In contrast, the patients with PD were shown to be significantly, impaired when executing memory-guided reaches. Furthermore, the deficits exhibited by the PD group on memory-guided reaches were confined solely to those markers associated with the transport component of the prehension movement. That is, while both controls and patients with PD widened their grip aperture on memory-guided trials, the magnitude of this adjustment was comparable across the two groups. The implications of these findings for theories of visuomotor processing in sufferers of PD and the control of prehension movements more generally are discussed.

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Jackson, S.R., Jackson, G.M., Harrison, J. et al. The internal control of action and Parkinson's disease: a kinematic analysis of visually-guided and memory-guided prehension movements. Exp Brain Res 105, 147–162 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00242190

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Key words

  • Prehension
  • Reach to grasp
  • Working memory
  • Visual attention
  • Visual feedback
  • Human