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How far can I reach?: The perception of upper body action capabilities in Parkinson’s Disease

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/11/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Issue number8
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)3259-3274
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date6/07/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Successful interaction within the environment is contingent upon one’s ability to accurately perceive the extent over which they can successfully perform actions, known as action boundaries. Healthy young adults are accurate in estimating their action boundaries and can flexibly update them to accommodate stable changes in their action capabilities. However, there are conditions in which motor abilities are subject to variability over time such as in Parkinson’s disease (PD). PD impairs the ability to perform actions and can lead to variability in perceptual-motor experience, but the effect on the perceptions of their action boundaries remains unknown. This study investigated the influence of altered perceptual-motor experience during PD, on the perceptions of action boundaries for reaching, grasping and aperture passing. Thirty participants with mild-to-moderate idiopathic PD and twenty-six healthy older adults provided estimates of their reaching, grasping and aperture passing ability. Participants’ estimates were compared to their actual capabilities. There was no evidence that individuals with PD’s perceptions were less accurate than healthy controls. Furthermore, there was some evidence for more conservative estimates than seen in young healthy adults in reaching (both groups) and aperture passing (PD group). This suggests that the ability to judge action capabilities is preserved in mild to moderate PD.