Deficient use of visual information in estimating hand position in cerebellar patients

Efrat Taig, Michael Küper, Nina Theysohn, Dagmar Timmann, Opher Donchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wetested cerebellar degeneration in human patients in a task designed to isolate different aspects of motor planning and found a specific relationship between their ability to do inverse kinematic transformation and sparing of Crus I. Our approach was based on an experimental design introduced by Sober and Sabes (2003, 2005). Their paradigm allows behavioral deficits in planning of movement direction to be dissociated from deficits in generation of motor commands and also allows for the relative role played by visual and proprioceptive information to be quantified. Perturbation of visual information about hand position affected cerebellar degeneration patients (N=12) and age-matched controls equally in determining movement direction, but had less of an effect in both groups in the transformation of movement direction to motor command. However, when provided with vision of the joints, control participants were more affected in generating the motor command in perturbed trials, and cerebellar degeneration participants were not. Thus, cerebellar patients were less able to use visual information about the joints in generating motor commands. Voxel-based morphometric analysis showed that this inability was primarily correlated with degeneration of Crus I. These results show that the cerebellum plays a role in motor planning, and specifically in the generation of inverse kinematic models for sensorimotor processing. The involvement of Crus I is consistent with an emerging picture in which increasingly posterior lobules of the anterior cerebellar cortex are associated with increasingly complex and abstract aspects of motor behavior.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)16274-16284
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number46
StatePublished - 14 Nov 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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