Figure 2 Examples of hand postures, finger postures, and combined gestures (reproduced with permission from G. Goldenberg, Defective imitation of gestures in patients with damage in the left or right hemisphere. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. 61, 176-180, 1996).

configurations. Figure 2 shows three types of meaningless gestures that have been used to explore these differences: Hand postures specify a position of the hand relative to face and head whereas the internal configuration of the hand remains invariant. Finger postures specify different configurations of the fingers, whereas the position of the hand is not considered for scoring. Combined gestures specify the position of the hand relative to the body as well as the configuration of the fingers. Patients with apraxia have problems with all three kinds of gestures, but the impairment is more severe for hand than for finger postures and more frequently concerns the hand position rather than the finger configuration of combined gestures. There are even single apraxic patients in whom defective imitation of hand postures contrasts with normal imitation of finger configurations. In contrast, patients with visuospatial impairment following right brain damage have problems only with finger configurations.

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Conquering Fear In The 21th Century

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