Intact Organization of Tactile Space Perception in Isolated Focal Dystonia

Tina Mainka, Elena Azañón, Kirsten E. Zeuner, Arne Knutzen, Tobias Bäumer, Wolf Julian Neumann, Friederike Borngräber, Andrea A. Kühn, Matthew R. Longo, Christos Ganos*

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Systematic perceptual distortions of tactile space have been documented in healthy adults. In isolated focal dystonia impaired spatial somatosensory processing is suggested to be a central pathophysiological finding, but the structure of tactile space for different body parts has not been previously explored. Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess tactile space organization with a novel behavioral paradigm of tactile distance perception in patients with isolated focal dystonia and controls. Methods: Three groups of isolated focal dystonia patients (cervical dystonia, blepharospasm/Meige syndrome, focal hand dystonia) and controls estimated perceived distances between 2 touches across 8 orientations on the back of both hands and the forehead. Results: Stimulus size judgments differed significantly across orientations in all groups replicating distortions of tactile space known for healthy individuals. There were no differences between groups in the behavioral parameters we assessed on the hands and forehead. Conclusions: Tactile space organization is comparable between isolated focal dystonia and healthy controls in dystonic and unaffected body parts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1949-1955
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 08.2021


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