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Investigating the Role of the Premotor Cortex in Higher Cognitive Functions

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00842413
Recruitment Status : Terminated (not enough enrollment)
First Posted : February 12, 2009
Last Update Posted : February 12, 2009
Information provided by:
Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris

Brief Summary:
This project aims at understanding better the role of the frontal lobe of the brain in our capacity to perceive visual information consciously, and also, in our capacity to perceive others' actions. It includes a test where we ask subjects to detect visual information in front of a computer screen, and another test where we ask them to imitate finger movements.

Condition or disease
Brain Injury Chronic

Detailed Description:
This project is a twofold exploration of the functions of the premotor cortex, concerning, on the one hand, its role in conscious visual perception, and on the other hand, the part it may play in the perception and imitation of other people's movements. Healthy subjects will be compared with subjects suffering from focal lesions within the premotor cortex, on two tasks: in the first task, the subjects will have to make a decision concerning the absence or presence of a visual item in their field of vision. They will make (virtual) bets based on the subjective certainty of their perceptions - they will be told that these bets are purely virtual, and will not result in any financial gain or loss. This study will help us understand the contribution of the prefrontal cortex to subjective weighing of perceptual certainty. In the second task, the subjects will imitate a finger movement, based either on a fixed picture, or on a short motion picture. Previous studies have shown that whether the movement is copied from a fixed picture or a moving picture changes reaction times and types of mistakes. Neuroimaging studies have shown that a premotor area is involved in this effect. The comparison of brain-damaged and healthy subjects will tell us what exactly the contribution of the prefrontal consists in.

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Study Type : Observational
Actual Enrollment : 9 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: What Part Does the Premotor Cortex Play in Subjective Visual Perception and in the Perception of Others' Actions?
Study Start Date : May 2007
Actual Primary Completion Date : September 2007
Actual Study Completion Date : September 2007

The study compares brain-damaged patients with healthy ones on two psychophysical tasks.
The study does not intervene on the brain-damaged patients, it merely compares their behaviour with that of healthy patients on a range of psychophysical tasks.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
The visual pereption of subjects willl be studied, but no attempt will be made at modifying it, or treating any problem that they might have.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy subjects chosen from a pool of adult subjects, recruited through ads.
  • In the second group, the subjects are recruited from a pool of brain-damaged patients treated at the hospital de la Pitié-Salpétrière. They must suffer from a focal lesion in the prefrontal cortex.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • For the healthy group: any previous brain-related medical history.
  • Widespread brain-damage, extending beyond the prefrontal cortex, that is to say, lesions that are not really focal.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00842413

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Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpétrière
Paris, France, 75013
Sponsors and Collaborators
Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
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Principal Investigator: Richard Levy, MD Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
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Responsible Party: Yannick Vacher, Clinical Research Department of Developpement Identifier: NCT00842413    
Other Study ID Numbers: P060605
First Posted: February 12, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 12, 2009
Last Verified: November 2008
Keywords provided by Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris:
Prefrontal cortex
visual consciousness
focal lesions
action perception
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Brain Injuries
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Craniocerebral Trauma
Trauma, Nervous System
Wounds and Injuries