Three-dimensional computergraphic analysis of apraxia: Neural representations of learned movement

Academic Article


  • The left cerebral hemisphere in man contains anatomical structures specialized not only for language but also for higher-order motor programming. One method of studying the nature of these motor programs is by observing the type of errors made by patients who have left hemisphere damage. A major problem, however, in investigating the disorders that result from failure of this specialized left hemisphere system (the apraxias) has been the difficulty in obtaining objective measurement of movement in three-dimensional space. To this end, we provide the first three-dimensional analysis of the nature of movement errors in apraxia. Two apraxic subjects with lesions to the left hemisphere and 5 matched control subjects were studied. The apraxic subjects showed impairments in the control of movement timing and spatial relations, as well as decoupling in the normally tight relation between certain spatial and temporal aspects of their movement trajectories. Further, the use of the distal musculature by apraxic subjects was more impaired than their use of the proximal musculature, suggesting more distal representation in any space-time maps of learned movement. These data provide further insight into the nature of the representations of learned skilled movements in the left cerebral hemisphere. © 1990 Oxford University Press.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Brain  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Poizner H; Mack L; Verfaellie M; Rothi LJG; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 85
  • End Page

  • 101
  • Volume

  • 113
  • Issue

  • 1