Abnormal Vision-Based Displacement Perception in Parkinson’s Disease

Matthew Bernardinis, S. Farokh Atashzar, Rajni V. Patel, Mandar S. Jog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this work, we investigate the effect of Parkinson’s disease (PD), and common corresponding therapies on vision-based perception of motion, a critical perceptual ability required for performing a wide range of activities of daily livings. While PD has been recognized as mainly a motor disorder, sensory manifestation of PD can also play a major role in the resulting disability. In this paper, for the first time, the effect of disease duration and common therapies on vision-based perception of displacement were investigated. The study is conducted in a movement-independent manner, to reject the shadowing effects and isolate the targeted perceptual disorder to the maximum possible extent. Data was collected using a computerized graphical tool on 37 PD patients [6 early-stage de novo, 25 mid-stage using levodopa therapy, six later-stage using deep brain stimulation (DBS)] and 15 control participants. Besides the absolute measurement of perception through a psychometric analysis on two tested position reference magnitudes, we also investigated the linearity in perception using Weber’s fraction. The results showed that individuals with PD displayed significant perceptual impairments compared to controls, though early-stage patients were not impaired. Mid-stage patients displayed impairments at the greater of the two tested reference magnitudes, while late-stage patients were impaired at both reference magnitudes. Levodopa and DBS use did not cause statistically significant differences in absolute displacement perception. The findings suggest abnormal visual processing in PD increasing with disease development, perhaps contributing to sensory-based impairments of PD such as bradykinesia, visuospatial deficits, and abnormal object recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number676469
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jul 26 2021


  • Parkinson’s disease
  • de novo
  • deep brain stimulation
  • displacement
  • levodopa
  • non-motor
  • perception
  • vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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