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Neuropsychologia. 2014 Sep;62:194-201. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.07.014. Epub 2014 Aug 5.

Conceptual- and production-related predictors of pantomimed tool use deficits in apraxia.

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Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, 50 Township Line Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027, USA. Electronic address:
Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute, 50 Township Line Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027, USA.


Apraxia following left hemisphere stroke disrupts pantomimed tool use (PTU), a task that requires the integrity of a number of cognitive and motor processes. Although previous studies have identified that apraxics have deficits in (1) the integrity of/access to stored tool-use gesture representations, (2) deficits in intrinsic (body-based) coordinate control, and (3) abnormal reliance on visual feedback, no study to date has simultaneously tested the relative contribution of these three deficits to poor PTU performance. In this study we assessed 38 chronic left hemisphere stroke survivors on tests of PTU and the 3 component processes. We then attempted to predict PTU with the component scores using hierarchical regression to control for overall stroke severity and the possibility of correlated component scores. Results showed that over half of the variability in PTU was predictable, with the strongest independent predictor being a test of intrinsic coordinate control without visual feedback. A test of the integrity of/access to stored representations also predicted PTU. These results confirm and extend previous claims that conceptual- and production-related factors affect PTU, even after considering that deficits in both factors are commonly observed to varying degrees in apraxic patients.


Apraxia; Imitation; Intrinsic coordinate frame; Pantomime; Tool use; Visual feedback

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