Inter- and intrahemispheric dissociations in ideomotor apraxia: a large-scale lesion-symptom mapping study in subacute brain-damaged patients

Cereb Cortex. 2013 Dec;23(12):2781-9. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhs280. Epub 2012 Sep 17.


Pantomimes of object use require accurate representations of movements and a selection of the most task-relevant gestures. Prominent models of praxis, corroborated by functional neuroimaging studies, predict a critical role for left parietal cortices in pantomime and advance that these areas store representations of tool use. In contrast, lesion data points to the involvement of left inferior frontal areas, suggesting that defective selection of movement features is the cause of pantomime errors. We conducted a large-scale voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping analyses with configural/spatial (CS) and body-part-as-object (BPO) pantomime errors of 150 left and right brain-damaged patients. Our results confirm the left hemisphere dominance in pantomime. Both types of error were associated with damage to left inferior frontal regions in tumor and stroke patients. While CS pantomime errors were associated with left temporoparietal lesions in both stroke and tumor patients, these errors appeared less associated with parietal areas in stroke than in tumor patients and less associated with temporal in tumor than stroke patients. BPO errors were associated with left inferior frontal lesions in both tumor and stroke patients. Collectively, our results reveal a left intrahemispheric dissociation for various aspects of pantomime, but with an unspecific role for inferior frontal regions.

Keywords: frontal; ideomotor apraxia; lesion; pantomime; parietal; voxel-based lesion–symptom mapping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Apraxia, Ideomotor / pathology
  • Apraxia, Ideomotor / physiopathology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / pathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parietal Lobe / pathology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Young Adult