The use of biological motion (BM) stimuli (point-light walkers PLW) may be a novel alternative to improve the clinical impact of Action Observation treatments in Parkinson’s Disease, by directing the patient’s attentional focus on gait kinematics. However, the recognition of biological motion in Parkinson’s patients has thus far been controversial. To evaluate the clinical feasibility of using BM stimuli in Action Observation treatments, we aimed at investigating whether Parkinson’s patients in the ON-state condition can identify and use gender-specific cues conveyed by the body structure and by the kinematics of gait of a PLW. 30 Parkinson’s patients and 30 healthy elderly observers were tested in a gender identification task with PLW. Parkinson’s patients were able to correctly identify the gender of PLW; no differences were found between the two groups of observers. While for both groups, the gender identification task was easier when it required a judgment on a healthy PLW. Lastly, we found that females were more sensitive than males in our identification task. Our study shows that Parkinson’s patients in the ON-state condition are able to extract subtle structural and kinematic characteristics from biological motion stimuli, which is favorable to the use of BM in Action Observation treatments.

Perception of biological motion. No sensitivity differences between patients with Parkinson’s disease and healthy observers

Mezzarobba S.;Grassi M.;Bernardis P.
2021

Abstract

The use of biological motion (BM) stimuli (point-light walkers PLW) may be a novel alternative to improve the clinical impact of Action Observation treatments in Parkinson’s Disease, by directing the patient’s attentional focus on gait kinematics. However, the recognition of biological motion in Parkinson’s patients has thus far been controversial. To evaluate the clinical feasibility of using BM stimuli in Action Observation treatments, we aimed at investigating whether Parkinson’s patients in the ON-state condition can identify and use gender-specific cues conveyed by the body structure and by the kinematics of gait of a PLW. 30 Parkinson’s patients and 30 healthy elderly observers were tested in a gender identification task with PLW. Parkinson’s patients were able to correctly identify the gender of PLW; no differences were found between the two groups of observers. While for both groups, the gender identification task was easier when it required a judgment on a healthy PLW. Lastly, we found that females were more sensitive than males in our identification task. Our study shows that Parkinson’s patients in the ON-state condition are able to extract subtle structural and kinematic characteristics from biological motion stimuli, which is favorable to the use of BM in Action Observation treatments.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/1070256
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