ERIC Number: EJ697670
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jun
Effects of Focal Basal Ganglia Lesions on Timing and Force Control
Aparicio, P.; Diedrichsen, J.; Ivry, R.B.
Brain and Cognition, v58 n1 p62-74 Jun 2005
Studies of basal ganglia dysfunction in humans have generally involved patients with degenerative disorders, notably Parkinson's disease. In many instances, the performance of these patients is compared to that of patients with focal lesions of other brain structures such as the cerebellum. In the present report, we studied the performance of patients with focal basal ganglia lesions on three fundamental motor tasks. The patients all had suffered unilateral damage in the striatum and were tested in the chronic state. The first task required the participants to tap with their index finger as fast as possible; this test provided a simple assessment of motor competence. Compared to controls, the maximum tapping rate was lower for the patients when tapping with their contralesional limb, although the deficit was not severe. The second and third tasks were designed to assess timing and force control, two functions that have been associated with basal ganglia function. The patients performed similar to controls on both tasks and showed no evidence of impairment when using their contralesional limb compared to their ipsilesional limb. The results indicate that unilateral basal ganglia lesions tend to produce minor motor problems in force control, and fail to support the hypothesized role of the basal ganglia in timing.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles
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