Adaptation to changes in vertical display gain during handwriting in Parkinson's disease patients, elderly and young controls

José L. Contreras-Vidal, Hans Leo Teulings, George E. Stelmach, Charles H. Adler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, matched elderly controls, and normal young subjects were tested using a visuo-motor adaptation paradigm in which the gain of the vertical component of the visual feedback of handwriting was manipulated in real-time. Handwriting was performed on a digitizer tablet and displayed in real-time on a computer screen in front of the participant. Vision of the hand and pen was occluded. Feedback could be normal (pre- and post-exposure conditions), smaller, or larger than the actual handwriting (exposure conditions). All groups showed a gradual adaptation that compensated for the distorted visual feedback during the exposure conditions. Moreover, all the groups showed significant after-effects during the post-exposure conditions suggesting that all the participants learned to compensate for the novel display gains. Taken together, these data suggest that the mechanisms for visuo-motor adaptation to changes in vertical display gain during handwriting are robust to aging and early stage of PD. These results may have implications for the treatment of micrographia in Parkinsonism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2002

Keywords

  • After-effect
  • Aging
  • Display gain
  • Micrographia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Visuo-motor adaptation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology

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