Alien Hand Syndrome
Short Description or Definition
Alien hand syndrome (AHS) is a relatively rare manifestation of damage to specific brain regions involved in voluntary movement. The core observation is the patient report that one of his/her hands is displaying purposeful, coordinated, and goal-directed behavior over which the patient feels he/she has no voluntary control. The patient fails to recognize the action of one of his hands as his own. The hand, effectively, appears to manifest a “will of its own.” This unique involuntary movement disorder is characterized by coordinated, well-organized, and clearly goal-directed limb movements that would otherwise be indistinguishable from normal voluntary movement. This definition excludes disordered, non-purposeful, and dyskinetic movements associated with other involuntary movement disorders such as chorea,...
References and Readings
- Denny-Brown, D. (1966). The cerebral control of movement. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.Google Scholar
- Giovanetti, T., Buxbaum, L. J., Biran, I., & Chatterjee, A. (2005). Reduced endogenous control in alien hand syndrome: Evidence from naturalistic action. Neuropsychologia, 43, 75–88.Google Scholar
- Goldberg, G. (1992). Premotor systems, attention to action and behavioural choice. In J. Kien, C. McCrohan, & W. Winlow (Eds.), Neurobiology of motor programme selection. New approaches to mechanisms of behavioural choice (pp. 225–249). Oxford: Pergamon.Google Scholar
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