The neural correlates of limb apraxia: An anatomical likelihood estimation meta-analysis of lesion-symptom mapping studies in brain-damaged patients

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2024 Jul:162:105720. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2024.105720. Epub 2024 May 15.


Limb apraxia is a motor disorder frequently observed following a stroke. Apraxic deficits are classically assessed with four tasks: tool use, pantomime of tool use, imitation, and gesture understanding. These tasks are supported by several cognitive processes represented in a left-lateralized brain network including inferior frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobe (IPL), and lateral occipito-temporal cortex (LOTC). For the past twenty years, voxel-wise lesion symptom mapping (VLSM) studies have been used to unravel the neural correlates associated with apraxia, but none of them has proposed a comprehensive view of the topic. In the present work, we proposed to fill this gap by performing a systematic Anatomic Likelihood Estimation meta-analysis of VLSM studies which included tasks traditionally used to assess apraxia. We found that the IPL was crucial for all the tasks. Moreover, lesions within the LOTC were more associated with imitation deficits than tool use or pantomime, confirming its important role in higher visual processing. Our results questioned traditional neurocognitive models on apraxia and may have important clinical implications.

Keywords: Apraxia; VLSM; action understanding; imitation; pantomime; stroke; tool use.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apraxias* / diagnostic imaging
  • Apraxias* / etiology
  • Apraxias* / pathology
  • Apraxias* / physiopathology
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Injuries / pathology
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Humans
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / diagnostic imaging
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Stroke / physiopathology