Differential Aspects of Parkinsonian Akinesia as Revealed by Limb Movement Studies

  • F. Viallet
  • E. Trouche
  • E. Legallet
  • P. Apicella
  • R. Khalil
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 39)


Parkinsonian akinesia is known to be a complex symptom. In the present study, some of its phenomenological aspects, such as difficulty in initiating movement and slowness of movement execution, are reassessed by comparing, on the one hand, data obtained in two stimulus-triggered reaction time (RT) tasks involving either aiming (pointing to a visual target) or no aiming (no spatial goal) and, on the other hand, two goal directed task conditions which could be performed either in a closed loop (normal vision of the movement) or in an open loop mode (without visual feedback). The data show that in parkinsonians, the RTs were more prolonged in the no aiming task: this deficit was partly compensated by dopatherapy. Furthermore, these patients exhibited a hypometric tendency in pointing movements when the visual reafferents were lacking. These results show that some of the factors contributing to the expression of akinesia in Parkinson’s disease play a leading role, namely: motivation for the task, expectation that sensory feedback will be used during movement execution, muscle energizing deficits (mainly revealed by the hypometric tendency).


Visual Feedback Supplementary Motor Area Reaction Time Task Voluntary Movement Movement Execution 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Viallet
    • 1
  • E. Trouche
    • 2
  • E. Legallet
    • 2
  • P. Apicella
    • 2
  • R. Khalil
    • 1
  1. 1.Service de NeurologieMarseille Cedex 5France
  2. 2.LNF 3 — CNRS — 31Marseille Cedex 9France

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