A Neural Substrate for Mirror Agnosia and Mirror Image Agnosia - Is it a Network disorder?

Neurol India. 2021 Jul-Aug;69(4):931-936. doi: 10.4103/0028-3886.325339.


Background: Reflected image processing is a unique brain function and its abnormalities result in problems of localizing, recognizing the images, and utilizing this information in everyday life.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to characterize clinical and neuropsychological profiles and to identify the probable neural substrate for this phenomenon in major cognitive disorder.

Materials and methods: We conducted a prospective study from February 2015 to May 2017 in patients with Major Cognitive Disorder (MCD, DSM-5 criteria). All patients were tested for problems in reflected image processing using the detailed protocol after ethical approval of the institute and consent. They also underwent a detailed neuropsychological evaluation, biochemical tests and neuroimaging (structural, diffusion, and resting-state functional MRI) as per established protocol.

Results: Of the 18 patients, 11 had mirror agnosia (MA), 5 had mirror image agnosia (MIA) and 2 had both. MRI of MA patients showed parietal atrophy and whereas diffuse pattern of atrophy was seen with MIA. In the MA group, the left superior longitudinal fasciculus showed significantly greater fractional anisotropy and the left angular gyrus showed increased functional connectivity with left anterior cingulate, left dorsolateral prefrontal and bilateral posterior cingulate regions.

Conclusion: Mirror image processing defects were not related to the type of MCD, severity or pattern of neuropsychological dysfunction. There are structural and functional alterations in localized regions as well as both hemispheres. Therefore, it is more likely to be a network disorder, irrespective of the MCD type or severity.

Keywords: Free surfer; major cognitive disorder; mirror agnosia; mirror image agnosia; network disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Agnosia* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • White Matter*