Simultaneous object perception deficits are related to reduced visual processing speed in amnestic mild cognitive impairment

Adriana L. Ruiz-Rizzo, Peter Bublak, Petra Redel, Timo Grimmer, Hermann J. Müller, Christian Sorg, Kathrin Finke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Simultanagnosia, an impairment in simultaneous object perception, has been attributed to deficits in visual attention and, specifically, to processing speed. Increasing visual attention deficits manifest over the course of Alzheimer's disease (AD), where the first changes are present already in its symptomatic predementia phase: amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). In this study, we examined whether patients with aMCI due to AD show simultaneous object perception deficits and whether and how these deficits relate to visual attention. Sixteen AD patients with aMCI and 16 age-, gender-, and education-matched healthy controls were assessed with a simultaneous perception task, with shapes presented in an adjacent, embedded, or overlapping manner, under free viewing without temporal constraints. We used a parametric assessment of visual attention based on the Theory of Visual Attention. Results show that patients make significantly more errors than controls when identifying overlapping shapes, which correlate with reduced processing speed. Our findings suggest simultaneous object perception deficits in very early AD, and a visual processing speed reduction underlying these deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-142
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume55
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amnestic mild cognitive impairment
  • Attention
  • Balint syndrome
  • Neuropsychology
  • Visual perception

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