Delayed reaching and grasping in patients with optic ataxia

Prog Brain Res. 2003:142:225-42. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(03)42016-5.


A series of experiments documenting the reaching and grasping of two patients with optic ataxia is presented. We compare their immediate responses with their behavior when required to delay for a few seconds before responding. When the delayed response is 'pantomimed', i.e. made in the absence of the target object, their performance typically improves. This pattern was predicted from a two-visual-systems model in which the cortical dorsal stream mediates normal visually guided actions while the ventral stream deals with visual information that has to be held in memory. We further found that when a 'preview' task was used in which the patients could use memorized information to guide a response to a still-present target object, they did so in preference to using the visual information facing them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ataxia / pathology
  • Ataxia / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Memory / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology