Egocentric and allocentric spatial references in children with Cerebral Palsy


Spatial memory is supported by multiple parallel representations of the environment. Egocentric perspective (body-centered) and allocentric representations (object-centered) are integrated to allow correct interaction with the world. According to Milner and Goodale (1995, 2008), the action-related dorsal system is specialized for location of objects in space and visuo-motor integration, and uses an egocentric frame of reference. The perception-related ventral system is specialized for categorical recognition of objects and forms, and supports an allocentric frame of reference. Here we use a Distance Judgment Task to explore the use of different spatial frames in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP). Following the dorsal stream vulnerability hypothesis (Atkinson et al., 2007) children with CP might have more difficulties in egocentric judgments and in the processing of peri-personal space than controls. No significant difference emerged between CP children and controls in allocentric judgments, whereas performance was worse in egocentric judgment, indicating inefficient use of the body-centered representations. Keywords: Egocentric-allocentric spatial references; Distance Judgment task; Cerebral Palsy (CP).

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