Implicit task switching in Parkinson’s disease is preserved when on medication

Jacob A. Yaffe, Yair Zlotnik, Gal Ifergane, Shelly Levy-Tzedek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People with Parkinson’s disease have been shown to have difficulty switching between movement plans. In the great majority of studies, the need to switch between tasks was made explicitly. Here, we tested whether people with Parkinson’s disease, taking their normal medication, have difficulty switching between implicitly specified tasks. We further examined whether this switch is performed predictively or reactively. Twenty five people with Parkinson’s disease continuously increased or decreased the frequency of their arm movements, inducing an abrupt–but unaware–switch between rhythmic movements (at high frequencies) and discrete movements (at low frequencies). We tested whether that precipitous change was performed reactively or predictively. We found that 56% of participants predictively switched between the two movement types. The ability of people with Parkinson’s disease, taking their regular medication, to predictively control their movements on implicit tasks is thus preserved.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere0227555
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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