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Nature. 1991 Jan 10;349(6305):154-6.

A neurological dissociation between perceiving objects and grasping them.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.

Abstract

Studies of the visual capacity of neurological patients have provided evidence for a dissociation between the perceptual report of a visual stimulus and the ability to direct spatially accurate movements toward that stimulus. Some patients with damage to the parietal lobe, for example, are unable to reach accurately towards visual targets that they unequivocally report seeing. Conversely, some patients with extensive damage to primary visual cortex can make accurate pointing movements or saccades toward a stimulus presented in their 'blind' scotoma. But in investigations of visuomotor control in patients with visual disorders, little consideration has been given to complex acts such as manual prehension. Grasping a three-dimensional object requires knowledge not only of the object's spatial location, but also of its form, orientation and size. We have examined a patient with a profound disorder in the perception of such object qualities. Our quantitative analyses demonstrate strikingly accurate guidance of hand and finger movements directed at the very objects whose qualities she fails to perceive. These data suggest that the neural substrates for the visual perception of object qualities such as shape, orientation and size are distinct from those underlying the use of those qualities in the control of manual skills.

PMID:
1986306
DOI:
10.1038/349154a0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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