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Behav Neurosci. 2009 Feb;123(1):125-36. doi: 10.1037/a0013734.

Role of a lateralized parietal-basal ganglia circuit in hierarchical pattern perception: evidence from Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA.


The role of corticostriatal circuits in hierarchical pattern perception was examined in Parkinson's disease. The hypothesis was tested that patients with right-side onset of motor symptoms (RPD, left hemisphere dysfunction) would be impaired at local level processing because the left posterior temporoparietal junction (TP) emphasizes processing of local information. By contrast, left-side onset patients (LPD; right hemisphere dysfunction) would show impaired global processing because right TP emphasizes global processing. Participants identified targets at local or global levels without and with attention biased toward those levels. Despite normal attentional control between levels, LPD patients showed a single dissociation, demonstrating abnormal global level processing under all conditions, whereas RPD patients showed abnormal local level processing mainly when attention was biased toward the local level. These findings link side of motor symptom onset to visuospatial cognitive abilities that depend upon the contralateral TP, highlighting that side of onset can predict visuospatial impairments, and provide evidence that an inferior parietal-basal ganglia pathway involving the caudate head and the hemispherically asymmetrical TP region is necessary for hierarchical pattern perception.

(c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

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