Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Biological motion perception in Huntington's disease

Matheis, Tamara; Evinger, Craig; Schubert, Robin; Mazzola, Steven; Fels, Michaela GND; Kemper, Nicole GND; Reilmann, Ralf; Muratori, Lisa

BACKGROUND:The ability of healthy individuals to detect biological motion by using a small number of moving points is well established in animals and humans. Perception of human movements may depend on internal models that drive self-generated movements and influence motion discrimination (Reed CL et al. 1995 and 2007). As a person's motor repertoire deteriorates, the accuracy of these models may also decrease. OBJECTIVE:Determine if people with symptomatic Huntington's disease (HD) have difficulty perceiving movements. METHODS:In this study point-light displays were created with a Vicon Motion Capture System by recording one individual with (impaired) and one individual without (healthy) Parkinson's disease using a 13 joint marker set. Participants were asked to distinguish between three movements and determine if the movement was impaired or healthy. The ability of participants with and without HD to distinguish movement patterns and the time to perception were recorded. RESULTS:Analyses found participants with HD had a decreased ability to correctly detect movements and point-light image type. The stair climbing motion showed the largest effect as participants with HD had more difficulty correctly identifying both the movement and whether it was impaired or healthy. In addition, the participants without HD showed an improvement as trials progressed which could not be observed in the HD cohort. CONCLUSIONS:As people with symptomatic HD have difficulty perceiving movements further investigations using point-light displays should be done to determine if these impairments might serve as an easily administered, non-invasive marker of disease state.


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Matheis, Tamara / Evinger, Craig / Schubert, Robin / et al: Biological motion perception in Huntington's disease. 2019.

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