Visual velocity perception dysfunction in Parkinson's disease

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Compared with motor deficits, sensory information processing in Parkinson's disease (PD) is relatively unexplored. While there is increasing interest in understanding the sensory manifestations of PD, the extent of sensory abnormality in PD has remained relatively unexplored. Furthermore, most investigations on the sensory aspects of PD involve motor aspects, causing confounding results. As sensory deficits often arise in early PD development stages, they present a potential technological target for diagnosis and disease monitoring that is affordable and accessible. Considering this, the current study's aim is to assess visual spatiotemporal perception independent of goal directed movements in PD by designing and using a scalable computational tool. Methods: A flexible 2-D virtual reality environment was created to evaluate various cases of visual perception. Using the tool, an experimental task quantifying the visual perception of velocity was tested on 37 individuals with PD and 17 age-matched control participants. Results: PD patients, both ON and OFF PD therapy, displayed perceptual impairments (p = 0.001 and p = 0.008, respectively) at slower tested velocity magnitudes. These impairments were even observed in early stages of PD (p = 0.015). Conclusion: Visual velocity perception is impaired in PD patients, which suggests impairments in visual spatiotemporal processing occur in PD and provides a promising modality to be used with disease monitoring software. Significance: Visual velocity perception shows high sensitivity to PD at all stages of the disease. Dysfunction in visual velocity perception may contribute to observed motor dysfunction in PD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114490
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
StatePublished - Aug 24 2023


  • Computer-generated graphical tool
  • Non-motor PD symptoms
  • PD diagnostic technology
  • PD monitoring technology
  • Parkinson's disease (PD)
  • Visual velocity perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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