Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Douglas I. KatzEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1926


The inability to correctly carry out a learned, skilled motor act despite the preserved capability of the sensorimotor system to produce the intended movement.

Current Knowledge

Apraxia is thought to involve a loss of representations or the inability to adequately access representations of learned movements and motor skills in the damaged brain. This may lead to a loss of recall of the concept or configuration of the movement or the inability to transform or implement the representational knowledge of the movement into a well-coordinated, properly configured, and sequenced gesture. The diagnosis of apraxia requires the exclusion of cognitive and sensorimotor impairments that may affect the ability to carry out the motor skill, such as arousal, attention, intention, language deficits or weakness, discoordination, movement disorders, and sensory loss.

Assessment: Assessment for apraxia involves asking a patient to carry out pantomimes of movements (e.g., “show me how you...

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References and Readings

  1. De Renzi, E. (1990). Apraxia. In F. Boller & J. Grafman (Eds.), Handbook of neuropsychology (Vol. 2, pp. 245–263). New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  2. Heilman, K. M. (1997). Disorders of skilled movements: Limb apraxia. In T. E. Feinberg & M. J. Farah (Eds.), Behavioral neurology and neuropsychology (pp. 227–235). New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  3. Liepmann, H. (1900). Das Krankheitsbild der Apraxie (motorische Asymbolie) auf Grund eines Falles von einseitiger Apraxie. Monatschrift Psychiatrie und Neurologic, 8, 15–44, 102–132, 182–197.Google Scholar
  4. Rothi, L. J. G., & Heilman, K. M. (1997). Apraxia: The neuropsychology of action. East Sussex: Psychology Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyBoston University School of MedicineBraintreeUSA