The perception and prehension of objects oriented in the depth plane .1. Effects of visual form agnosia

H C Dijkerman, A D Milner, David Peter Matthew Carey

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72 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have reported that the visual form agnosic D.F. is able to use information about visual targets for the control of motor acts, but has great difficulty in using the same visual information for perceptual report. This intact visuomotor performance may be mediated by relatively intact parieto-frontal cortical mechanisms. The present study investigated the ability of D.F. to use binocular and monocular information about the orientation of an object in the depth plane for perceptual and visuomotor purposes. A square plaque was presented at seven different orientations in depth to D.F. and to three age- and sex-matched control subjects. Subjects were required to reach out and grasp the plaque using a precision grip (index finger and thumb) under binocular and monocular viewing conditions, and in separate trials to match the orientation of a hand-held plaque to the perceived orientation of the target object, also under both binocular and monocular conditions. D.F's performance in grasping trials was found to be normal under binocular conditions, but was substantially worsened by removal of binocular vision. She was severely impaired at matching the orientation of the test square, although under binocular conditions her performance rose clearly above chance. The data suggest that the separation of cortical processing for visuomotor and visual perceptual purposes also applies, at least in part, to information about the orientation in depth of an object. The impaired performance under monocular viewing conditions on the visuomotor task is in agreement with recent physiological data and suggests that posterior parietal systems depend critically on binocular input for the processing of orientation in depth when ventral-stream information is unavailable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-451
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996


  • visual agnosia
  • visuomotor control
  • orientation
  • depth
  • binocular vision


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