Affordances after spinal cord injury

Anna Sedda, Ettore Ambrosini, Giada Dirupo, Diana Tonin, Laura Valsecchi, Tiziana Redaelli, Michele Spinelli, Marcello Costantini, Gabriella Bottini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Spinal cord injury can cause cognitive impairments even when no cerebral lesion is appreciable. As patients are forced to explore the environment in a non‐canonical position (i.e., seated on a wheelchair), a modified relation with space can explain motor‐related cognitive differences compared to non‐injured individuals. Peripersonal space is encoded in motor terms, that is, in relation to the representation of action abilities and is strictly related to the affordance of reachability. In turn, affordances, the action possibilities suggested by relevant properties of the environment, are related to the perceiver's peripersonal space and motor abilities. One might suppose that these motor‐related cognitive abilities are compromised when an individual loses the ability to move. We shed light on this issue in 10 patients with paraplegia and 20 matched controls. All have been administered an affordances‐related reachability judgement task adapted from Costantini, Ambrosini, Tieri, Sinigaglia, and Committeri (2010, Experimental Brain Research, 207, 95) and neuropsychological tests. Our findings demonstrate that patients and controls show the same level of accuracy in estimating the location of their peripersonal space boundaries, but only controls show the typical overestimation of reaching range. Secondly, patients show a higher variability in their judgements than controls. Importantly, this finding is related to the patients’ ability to perform everyday tasks. Finally, patients are not faster in making their judgements on reachability in peripersonal space, while controls are. Our results suggest that not moving freely or as usual in the environment impact decoding of action‐related properties even when the upper limbs are not compromised.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neuropsychology
Early online date16 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Feb 2018

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Aptitude
Spinal Cord Injuries
Wheelchairs
Neuropsychological Tests
Paraplegia
Posture
Upper Extremity
Brain
Research

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Sedda, A., Ambrosini, E., Dirupo, G., Tonin, D., Valsecchi, L., Redaelli, T., ... Bottini, G. (2018). Affordances after spinal cord injury. Journal of Neuropsychology. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnp.12151
Sedda, Anna ; Ambrosini, Ettore ; Dirupo, Giada ; Tonin, Diana ; Valsecchi, Laura ; Redaelli, Tiziana ; Spinelli, Michele ; Costantini, Marcello ; Bottini, Gabriella. / Affordances after spinal cord injury. In: Journal of Neuropsychology. 2018.
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Sedda, A, Ambrosini, E, Dirupo, G, Tonin, D, Valsecchi, L, Redaelli, T, Spinelli, M, Costantini, M & Bottini, G 2018, 'Affordances after spinal cord injury', Journal of Neuropsychology. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnp.12151

Affordances after spinal cord injury. / Sedda, Anna; Ambrosini, Ettore; Dirupo, Giada; Tonin, Diana; Valsecchi, Laura; Redaelli, Tiziana; Spinelli, Michele; Costantini, Marcello; Bottini, Gabriella.

In: Journal of Neuropsychology, 16.02.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Sedda, Anna

AU - Ambrosini, Ettore

AU - Dirupo, Giada

AU - Tonin, Diana

AU - Valsecchi, Laura

AU - Redaelli, Tiziana

AU - Spinelli, Michele

AU - Costantini, Marcello

AU - Bottini, Gabriella

PY - 2018/2/16

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N2 - Spinal cord injury can cause cognitive impairments even when no cerebral lesion is appreciable. As patients are forced to explore the environment in a non‐canonical position (i.e., seated on a wheelchair), a modified relation with space can explain motor‐related cognitive differences compared to non‐injured individuals. Peripersonal space is encoded in motor terms, that is, in relation to the representation of action abilities and is strictly related to the affordance of reachability. In turn, affordances, the action possibilities suggested by relevant properties of the environment, are related to the perceiver's peripersonal space and motor abilities. One might suppose that these motor‐related cognitive abilities are compromised when an individual loses the ability to move. We shed light on this issue in 10 patients with paraplegia and 20 matched controls. All have been administered an affordances‐related reachability judgement task adapted from Costantini, Ambrosini, Tieri, Sinigaglia, and Committeri (2010, Experimental Brain Research, 207, 95) and neuropsychological tests. Our findings demonstrate that patients and controls show the same level of accuracy in estimating the location of their peripersonal space boundaries, but only controls show the typical overestimation of reaching range. Secondly, patients show a higher variability in their judgements than controls. Importantly, this finding is related to the patients’ ability to perform everyday tasks. Finally, patients are not faster in making their judgements on reachability in peripersonal space, while controls are. Our results suggest that not moving freely or as usual in the environment impact decoding of action‐related properties even when the upper limbs are not compromised.

AB - Spinal cord injury can cause cognitive impairments even when no cerebral lesion is appreciable. As patients are forced to explore the environment in a non‐canonical position (i.e., seated on a wheelchair), a modified relation with space can explain motor‐related cognitive differences compared to non‐injured individuals. Peripersonal space is encoded in motor terms, that is, in relation to the representation of action abilities and is strictly related to the affordance of reachability. In turn, affordances, the action possibilities suggested by relevant properties of the environment, are related to the perceiver's peripersonal space and motor abilities. One might suppose that these motor‐related cognitive abilities are compromised when an individual loses the ability to move. We shed light on this issue in 10 patients with paraplegia and 20 matched controls. All have been administered an affordances‐related reachability judgement task adapted from Costantini, Ambrosini, Tieri, Sinigaglia, and Committeri (2010, Experimental Brain Research, 207, 95) and neuropsychological tests. Our findings demonstrate that patients and controls show the same level of accuracy in estimating the location of their peripersonal space boundaries, but only controls show the typical overestimation of reaching range. Secondly, patients show a higher variability in their judgements than controls. Importantly, this finding is related to the patients’ ability to perform everyday tasks. Finally, patients are not faster in making their judgements on reachability in peripersonal space, while controls are. Our results suggest that not moving freely or as usual in the environment impact decoding of action‐related properties even when the upper limbs are not compromised.

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DO - 10.1111/jnp.12151

M3 - Article

JO - Journal of Neuropsychology

JF - Journal of Neuropsychology

SN - 1748-6645

ER -

Sedda A, Ambrosini E, Dirupo G, Tonin D, Valsecchi L, Redaelli T et al. Affordances after spinal cord injury. Journal of Neuropsychology. 2018 Feb 16. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnp.12151