Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using Tools Requires That Brain Is Able To Control Movements

Date:
April 22, 2009
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Our ability to use objects and tools to perform actions is essential to our daily activities, and it is developed to a level that is unique to our species. Researchers have found that brain-lesioned patients who have difficulties using familiar objects and tools in their usual context (e.g. cutting paper with scissors) may also be impaired at controlling the movement of an object in the context of simpler movements such as pointing at a target.

Our ability to use objects and tools to perform actions is essential to our daily activities, and it is developed to a level that is unique to our species. In a study performed by a scientific team of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Paris Descartes University, researchers have found that brain-lesioned patients who have difficulties using familiar objects and tools in their usual context (e.g. cutting paper with scissors) may also be impaired at controlling the movement of an object in the context of simpler movements such as pointing at a target.

Patients suffering from apraxia, a neurological syndrome caused by lesions in the left hemisphere of the brain, have difficulties executing complex movements, including tool use gestures. In this study, the authors compared the performance of apraxics to that of other patients suffering from left cerebral lesion but showing no sign of apraxia, on a task requiring them to point at targets with a stick. Apraxics performed significantly worse than control patients, committing larger errors and sometimes failing to anticipate the changes in movement coordination imposed by the use of a long object to point at a target within hand reach.

Apraxia is often thought to be due to a loss in the ability to translate memories of well-learned gestures into a specific sequence of movements. With these new findings, the authors suggest that some of those patients are also impaired in more elementary processes that allow the incorporation of an object as a functional extension of their limb into their body coordination.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jacobs et al. The use of a tool requires its incorporation into the movement: Evidence from stick-pointing in apraxia. Cortex, 2009; 45 (4): 444 DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2007.12.009

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Using Tools Requires That Brain Is Able To Control Movements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420084953.htm>.
Elsevier. (2009, April 22). Using Tools Requires That Brain Is Able To Control Movements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420084953.htm
Elsevier. "Using Tools Requires That Brain Is Able To Control Movements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090420084953.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins