Visuo-spatial processing in parkinsonians

Neuropsychologia. 1989;27(4):485-93. doi: 10.1016/0028-3932(89)90053-5.


It has been suggested that patients with Parkinson's disease (PDs) may have problems processing visuo-spatial information and that this deficiency may contribute to the motor control problems observed in PD. However, most studies reporting visuo-spatial deficits are equivocal; they confound perceptual and motor processes. To address this issue, the present experiment systematically compared the relative contributions of several cognitive processes to performance: perception, stimulus-response translation, movement preparation and execution. Seven non-demented PDs and seven age-matched controls performed visual RT tasks, based upon judgements of spatial displacements. Both the RT and MT data suggested that PDs do not prepare movements as adequately as normals, and that PD deficits are associated with problems controlling movement execution. On the other hand, PDs were not slower in judging distances and linking perception to action, suggesting that previous findings of visuo-spatial deficits may be due in part to motor impairments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attention
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Orientation
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Reaction Time
  • Space Perception*
  • Visual Perception*