Visuospatial abilities in cerebellar disorders

Molinari M; Petrosini L; Misciagna S; Leggio M G; Molinari, M; Petrosini, L; Misciagna, S; Leggio, M G
February 2004
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry;Feb2004, Vol. 75 Issue 2, p235
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: Cerebellar involvement in spatial data management has been suggested on experimental and clinical grounds.Objective: To attempt a specific analysis of visuospatial abilities in a group of subjects with focal or atrophic cerebellar damage.Methods: Visuospatial performance was tested using the spatial subtests of the WAIS, the Benton line orientation test, and two tests of mental rotation of objects-the Minnesota paper form board test (MIN) and the differential aptitude test (DAT).Results: In the Benton line orientation test, a test of sensory analysis and elementary perception, no deficits were present in subjects with cerebellar damage. In MIN, which analyses the capacity to process bidimensional complex figures mentally, and in the DAT, which is based on mental folding and manipulation of tridimensional stimuli, subjects with cerebellar damage were impaired.Conclusions: The results indicate that lesions of the cerebellar circuits affect visuospatial ability. The ability to rotate objects mentally is a possible functional substrate of the observed deficits. A comparison between visuospatial performance of subjects with focal right and left cerebellar lesions shows side differences in the characteristics of the visuospatial syndrome. Thus cerebellar influences on spatial cognition appear to act on multiple cognitive modules.


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