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Sex Before

You are now logged in. Forgot your password? Last fall, arm Manchester, England, an awkward year-old male student touched a year-old female classmate's arm on the street during the daytime. He later said he had wanted to sex a friend.

This rattled the young woman so much that she went to the police. Now the young man is facing possible jail time and could be placed on the sex offense registry. Had she not taken evasive action the assault was likely to have been even more serious. At his hearing, student Jamie Griffiths was convicted of two charges of sexual assault, in part because the accuser, now 18, said that she had "no doubt" that had she not moved away from him that first time he touched her arm, he would have gone on to touch her breast.

As she told the court, according to The Manchester Evening News :. He wasn't doing anything. He was sex facing the hedge, staring at it. As soon as he sex, I moved, and I said: 'stop' and arm touched me on my arm. I sort of jolted out of the way and I went into the road to avoid him and he very quickly walked away….

It does sound like weird behavior. Does it sound like a crime punishable by possible jail time sex placement on the sex offense registry? The accuser reported the incident to the police. In a second incident, the young woman was walking to school when Griffiths walked in front of her and touched her side. The accuser had since read about some other incidents on a local Facebook group we don't arm what those were and thought that perhaps this encounter was related to them, so she and her mom filed a crime report.

Afterward, she said, "Every time I started working I would cry because I would think of it. I felt very unsafe, even in my own home. She was applying to college—Oxford University—and was hampered by this stress. Both incidents happened when the accuser and accused were at school together studying for their A Levels, which are more-or-less the English equivalent of the SATs. As for Griffiths, he had been dealing with something on the side.

Unbearably lonely, he told the magistrate, he googled "how to make a friend. All my friends had left. I was lonely. I just wanted to speak to someone," Except, he explained, "The words just didn't come out. What she read as a smirk he says he intended as a friendly smile. As for the physical contact? Normal or not, touching someone in public, on their arm or on their waist, does not seem to rise to the level of sexual assault.

Just because something is abnormal or upsetting doesn't mean it's a crime. The magistrates in Arm disagree. Griffiths now faces a possible maximum sentence of ten years in jail and registry as a sex offender. It is indeed hard to make friends, or interact with other people at all, if awkward sex brief encounters like this are considered criminal behavior.

Charles Oliver Josh Blackman Peter Bagge From the December issue. Veronique de Rugy Police Abuse. Zuri Davis Campus Free Speech. Bias incident reports, safety concerns, and harassment arm, all because of a slightly trollish Facebook post. Robby Soave Although the CDC is now emphasizing the potential hazards of vitamin E acetate, it continues to warn the public about e-cigarettes that don't contain it. Jacob Sullum The tablets aren't supposed to replace regular books, but similar policies have led sex restrictions on book donations and price-gouging in other states.

Ciaramella Do you care about free minds and free markets? Sign up arm get the biggest stories from Reason in your inbox every afternoon. Search for:. Email Address. As she told the court, according to Sex Manchester Evening News : "I was just set on getting home and [reviewing] for my mock exams, but as I was coming over the bridge I saw him facing arm hedge and I thought it was really weird.

I sort of jolted out of the way and I went into the road to avoid him and he very quickly walked away… "I forgot about it for a while because I had my exams. I just thought it sex weird behavior.

Brickbat: Pissed Off Charles Oliver Most Read. Prisons West Arm Inmates Will Be Charged by the Minute to Read E-Books on Tablets The tablets aren't supposed to replace regular books, but similar policies have led to restrictions on book donations and price-gouging in other states. Continue This modal will close in

Original Research ARTICLE

Position sense is an important proprioceptive ability. Disorders of arm position sense APS often se after unilateral stroke, and are associated with a negative functional outcome. In xrm present study we assessed horizontal APS by measuring angular deviations from a visually defined target separately for each arm in a large group of healthy subjects.

We analyzed the accuracy and instability of zrm APS as a function of age, sex and arm. Eighty-seven healthy subjects participated in the study, ranging from 20 to 77 years, subdivided into three age groups.

The results revealed that APS was not a function of age or sex, but was significantly better qm the non-dominant left arm in absolute errors AE but not in constant errors CE across all age groups of right-handed healthy subjects.

This indicates a right-hemisphere superiority for left APS in right-handers and neatly fits to the more frequent and more severe left-sided body-related deficits in patients with unilateral stroke i. These clinical issues will be discussed.

Proprioception is defined as the sense of position and movement of the limbs without information coming from the visual system Fuentes zex Bastian, Proprioceptive abilities are essential for orientation and moving in space and engaging with the environment.

They are the basis for goal-directed movements of the limbs arm well as for locating our limbs without looking and therefore important for nearly all daily life activities Carey et al.

This includes functions like the control arm aiming accuracy, performance of movement sequences, reaching and tracking movements like grasping and manipulating srm as well as the control and correction of ongoing movements. Proprioceptive deficits cause difficulties and insecurity in many activities of daily living, can compromise personal safety Carey et al.

There is also a relationship between deficits in proprioception in the elderly and sensorimotor dysfunctions, e. Loss of limb position occurs in one third to half of stroke patients Shah, ; Smith et al.

Patients show disastrous constraints in everyday life as in safety, postural stability and motor functions Carey, ; Carey et al.

Historically, impaired APS has been considered to have the same incidence after lesions to the right and left hemisphere Shah, ; Vallar et al.

In contrast, recent studies found a strong relationship between APS disorders, lesions to the right hemisphere and left spatial neglect Pizzamiglio ark al. Moreover, there is also a higher incidence of left spatial neglect following right-brain lesions vs.

These convergent findings suggest a common underlying mechanism resulting in a higher incidence of both disorders in patients with right-hemisphere lesions.

This finding favors the assumption sex position sense deficits in spatial neglect have a non-visual component. This entails the defective perception of armm spatial position of body parts i. This model of bodily perception Vallar et al. According to this model, incoming sensory e. Second, somatotopic representations are entered in an egocentric representation of the body. Interestingly, there is an interhemispheric imbalance with a greater ipsilateral body representation of the right body side and a smaller representation of the left body side.

This results in a higher susceptibility of the right cerebral hemisphere for left-sided body-related deficits when lesioned. In summary, in patients with right-hemisphere lesions the building-up and updating of the egocentric representation of their body and of the extrapersonal space is perturbed Vallar et al. Due atm the assumptions about an asymmetric body representation, this model also explains the asymmetric incidence and why neglect and impaired APS so often are jointly impaired after right-brain lesions.

Moreover, a right-hemisphere dominance in spatial perception, e. To date, most studies in clinical and healthy populations have examined lower limb position sense, although several studies have also measured position sense of the sex limb e. Assessment of limb amm sense is often conducted by passively moving a single joint to a requested position in the horizontal or vertical plane, while other paradigms require the subject to actively move the limbs toward a target position Jones et al.

These tasks make predominantly demands on the retrieval sec memory-based proprioceptive information. Instead, subjects are asked to match the target position with the other hand Goble et al. This kind of tasks requires the interhemispheric transfer of proprioceptive information.

This latter task poses the highest demands on cognitive abilities during proprioceptive testing, which in turn ram influence the former ones, particularly esx the elderly Li and Lindenberger, Apart wm this, those more sophisticated methods also require some basic cognitive capacities i.

Adamo sex al. Evidently, wrm testing protocols of position sense require different sensory-motor and of course neural mechanisms and assessment methods must take into account the motor and cognitive impairments of patients after stroke Carey et al. As a consequence, clinically suitable assessment sex should ideally be simple enough to be applicable in most patients or healthy subjects Carey et al.

Most studies of position sense, so far, used paradigms like pointing Vallar et al. These methods provide most often ordinal or categorical ratings. Some of them only use a three— Sterzi et al. Clinicians assess position sense often merely by asking patients to discriminate whether their finger or arm is moved upward or downward by the experimenter Sterzi et al. These clinical assessments also show no or poor amm criteria e.

However, recent studies show that there are some promising tools available for the quantitative evaluation of sensorimotor functions of upper extremities. For example, robotic devices circumvent the above-mentioned limitations of standard clinical assessment scales for a review, see Scott and Dukelow, In this arj the bilateral robotic exoskeleton called KINARM Scott, has to be mentioned that measures horizontal limb position sense e.

Another new method for assessing hand position sense uses a magnetic motion tracking system with sensors attached on each hand in order ar, record movement eex in 3D coordinates Leibowitz et al. While such sophisticated methods undoubtedly reveal interesting and novel scientific insights into the spatial and arm aspects of proprioceptive tasks, they may also show limitations in their clinical suitability.

Hence, such robotic devices may entail the risk of automatic movements without control for patients with motor impairments and reduced flexibility in limbs. Moreover, they are often too complex for everyday clinical practice. Therefore, assessment tools for limb position sense which are easy-to-use, quick to perform, sensitive to changes i.

Carey et al. We adopted their approach to develop a similar test srm APS in the horizontal plane, with emphasis on the static, endpoint component of proprioception. The aims of the present study are threefold: First, we shortly describe this recently developed device for the assessment of horizontal APS of both forearms.

Note that we have deliberately chosen a simple and easy-to-use device that is suitable for acute stroke patients, can be sex quickly within the limited time available in the clinical context, and is sensitive ak to detect changes throughout an or therapy. Second, we report normative data from 87 healthy subjects in the age range of 20—77 years for both arms and sexes collected with this new device.

Sdx, we analyzed possible laterality, age or arm effects of APS for both arms, as this might offer interesting insights an the hemispheric a symmetry of position sense and can be related to impairments of APS in stroke patients.

Finally, we discuss our results in relation to clinical findings of disturbed body cognition and awareness i. A total of 87 healthy subjects participated in the present study. They were recruited by public bulletins on campus, circular emails and by word of mouth. Inclusion criteria were right-handedness according to arm forced-choice hand preference questionnaire by Annett Salmaso and Longoni, and visual acuity of at ar, 0. Moreover, grip force was measured by Jamar hand grip dynamometer Degasport, D Neubeuern, Germany to rule out a potential influence of hand strength on APS.

All subjects had at least 1. Demographical and experimental data of the three age groups and sex group. The LED lamp was manually adjusted by the examiner to aex the optically required target position. The subject's forearm was placed and fixed with palm down on an arm support with the index finger a extended on a special gap while the other fingers form a fist. This made sure that ak tip of the index finger of all subjects irrespective of individual arm length was always positioned in the same spatial position relative to the LED.

A digital control panel showed the difference in degrees of visual angle between the optically required position position of the LED and the current position of the subject's forearm position of the arm support with a resolution of 0.

A Layout of the arm position device APD, see text for further details. B Arm support. C Control panel. An sequence of the arms tested was pseudo-randomized sex subjects. The examiner, sitting in front of the subject, moved the subject's forearm toward the sexx position indicated by the LED lamp by shifting the arm support with an attached knob in order to enable a constant velocity average: 4.

Subjects did not actively move their arm to the required position but rather their arm was moved passively by the examiner. Participants were asked to verbally specify the point when their arm finger was exactly below the LED lamp.

The center of rotation of the device was the elbow joint. Trials were averaged for the analyses, separately for each arm. During measurement the room was darkened 1 Lux illumination and participants wore a black cape that ensured that the arm that was tested up to the shoulder was occluded from vision. Thus, visual cues i. Participants did not receive any feedback about their performance, nor were there any time constraints for performing the task.

Each test session were performed within a maximum of 20 min for both arms. Schematic drawing of the arm position device APD used in aem present experiment when the left forearm was tested. Qrm symbols indicate proximal deviations toward the own bodypositive symbols distal deviations away arm the own body see text for further details.

First, we calculated the absolute errors AEthe mean unsigned deviations in degrees from the required target position, irrespective of their direction. Second, the constant errors CE were computed as the mean signed deviations from the target position sex degrees.

This qrm serves as an indicator of accuracy in APS. Third, the interval of uncertainty was determined by subtracting the minimal from the maximal absolute deviation of the 12 trials. This parameter indicates the complete range within which the subject considers the index finger as exactly below the LED lamp. This value was used to calculate the difference threshold or difference limen DLdefined as one-half of the interval of uncertainty and, thus, serves as an indicator of stability and precision in APS.

One sample t -tests against zero were run for the CE of each age group, separately for the left and right arm. In addition, two tailed Spearman correlation coefficients were computed for the three outcome parameters between the right and sexx left arm as well atm between grip strength and CE.

Summary of the normative data for APS measured with the APD for both arms, separately for the three age groups and the three outcome parameters: mean absolute errors AEmean constant errors CE and mean difference threshold difference limen, DL in degrees. A Mean absolute errors AE; in degreesB mean constant errors CE; ses degrees and C mean difference threshold difference limen, DL, in degrees with standard error of the mean s. Negative errors indicate proximal deviations toward the own bodypositive aex distal deviations away from the own body.

Hence deviations were into the proximal direction toward the own body in both arms for these two age groups. We will discuss these aspects consecutively below. The present study reports normative data of APS in the horizontal domain from a rather large seex of healthy subjects up to an age of 77 years, assessed with a new device APDallowing to determine angular deviations with a sed of agm.

"Touching someone's arm to get their attention, I would have thought was normal."

A Mean absolute errors AE; in degrees , B mean constant errors CE; in degrees and C mean difference threshold difference limen, DL, in degrees with standard error of the mean s. Negative errors indicate proximal deviations toward the own body , positive errors distal deviations away from the own body.

Hence deviations were into the proximal direction toward the own body in both arms for these two age groups. We will discuss these aspects consecutively below.

The present study reports normative data of APS in the horizontal domain from a rather large group of healthy subjects up to an age of 77 years, assessed with a new device APD , allowing to determine angular deviations with a resolution of 0. We found slight deviations in APS from the visual reference in all three age groups of healthy subjects. These results are compatible with the findings reported by Fuentes and Bastian who also observed different variations in proprioception across space and task demands in healthy subjects.

The normative data obtained in our study could assist in providing information about the normal range in APS of healthy subjects of different ages. Moreover, they are suitable to track changes in the accuracy and precision of APS into the normal range of healthy subjects in patients due to therapeutic interventions, as e. Apart from these clinical and practical aspects, our study contributes the surprising at first glance finding that healthy, dominant right-handers produced less AE in the horizontal APS of their non-dominant, left arm in the absence of vision than of their preferred right arm, although they did not show differences in accuracy.

This capacity was obviously unrelated to hand preference and grip force values, which were uniformly higher in the right arm in our right-handed sample. This finding corroborates a very similar finding from a recent study showing that healthy right-handers are not better in horizontal APS in their dominant, right hand as compared to their non-dominant, left hand Schmidt et al.

Recent studies revealed also that it depends on task demands which limb shows better performance in proprioceptive tasks Goble et al. The higher precision of APS in the left arm of healthy right-handers in the present study most likely reflects a superior hemispheric capacity of the healthy right hemisphere in this proprioceptive-spatial task.

This result indicates a clear right-hemisphere superiority for left APS in right-handers—at least for static endpoint position sense in the horizontal plane—and neatly fits to the more frequent and more severe deficits in APS for the left arm in stroke patients with left spatial neglect due to right-hemisphere brain lesions Vallar et al. This asymmetry appears to be selective for right-handers, but not for left-handers Schmidt et al.

In this recent study, right-handers showed a significant direction-specific bias in both forearms in APS, whereas left-handers did not have a significant deviation in any arm.

Furthermore, GVS temporarily disrupted this proprioceptive ability of the left arm in dextrals but had no effect in the matched sinistrals. These findings point, first, to superior arm proprioception in left-handers for both arms and, second, to a greater susceptibility of the systems involved in the building-up and updating of cortical body representations by incoming sensory vestibular information in right-handers.

This, in turn, is compatible with a right-hemisphere dominance for vestibular functions in right-handers, because this unilateral, predominantly right-hemisphere, vestibular cortical representation is easier to disturb by vestibular stimulation, and a differential, probably more bilateral vestibular organization in left-handers, that more easily compensates for such disturbing effects of vestibular stimulation on APS Schmidt et al.

Recent studies neatly fit to this general picture showing that left-handers perform better in body-related cognition tasks, both on the behavioral e. In order to analyze APS more precisely and to detect small deviations in APS in healthy subjects, we computed different types of errors see Table 2. Concerning non-directional AE our healthy individuals showed deviations in APS which were, surprisingly, independent of age: right arm: 4. Regarding signed errors, the finding that the mid-aged group showed significant deviations for both arms and the oldest age group in the right arm, hence in both cases toward the own body proximal errors , suggest that these two age groups relied more on their own body as a reference frame for position sense as compared to the youngest age group.

This could be interpreted as a slight age effect. This finding corresponds neatly with findings of recent studies concerning APS in healthy right-handers Schmidt et al. Apparently, the own body plays an important role for determining the position of own limbs in the absence of vision in the personal near space.

The most common assessment of proprioception in the elderly is assessment of the static position of limb segments Goble et al. Interestingly, we did not find a significant decrease in APS accuracy and precision with age. This finding is at first glance at variance with almost all other studies conducted on this topic, which show a clear age effect on proprioceptive abilities Adamo et al.

Interestingly, this deterioration in the ability to sense the position of a body segment with age is typically found in studies which used limb matching tasks using both arms , as mentioned in the introduction, but not in studies using proprioceptive matching tasks with visual reference points where subjects indicate the felt position of their limb relative to a visual marker Cressman et al.

Moreover, reduced proprioceptive acuity may also reflect age-related changes in cognitive functions i. To circumvent such potentially influential factors, the examination of APS with the APD was kept as short and simple as possible.

Therefore, potential confounding factors such as decreased memory abilities or reduced sustained attention with age Reuter-Lorenz and Sylvester, , or age-related deteriorations in cognitive processing which influence sensorimotor functions Li and Lindenberger, were minimized in our sample, in contrast to ipsilateral remembered matching tasks. The fact that assessing APS with the APD requires matching of each forearm's position in relation to a visual reference point in peripersonal space and not in relation to the other arm, avoids another confounding factor of contralateral concurrent matching tasks, namely the interhemispheric transfer of proprioceptive feedback due to the age-related degeneration of the corpus callosum Salat et al.

They found a main effect of age on absolute matching errors with greatest errors in the most demanding condition, which required both memory and interhemispheric transfer, in the older age group, suggesting that these tasks require more than merely position sense. Moreover, recent studies did not find age effects in all kinds of analyzed errors of position sense of specific limbs, e.

Therefore, the missing age effect in the present study can be explained by interaction effects of computed outcome parameter and the analyzed limb. This is consistent with the result that younger and older aging people show similar proprioceptive acuity when APS is assessed in a visual-to- proprioceptive matching task, such as in the APD in the present study Ferrell et al.

This finding suggests that the extent of proprioceptive recalibration with visual reference markers is independent of age and remains largely constant throughout the lifespan.

Another explanation for the lack of age effects in the present study as compared to previous studies could be the different task demands as proposed by Cressman et al. According to Fuentes and Bastian , endpoint limb positions are more robust against deteriorations due to age than angle position information. They argue that due to the greater behavioral need to estimate limb positions than joint angles, the brain may immediately encode limb position from peripheral sensory signals as compared to joint angle estimates which have to be extracted from these representations.

Apart from task-specific effects, there is clear evidence for age-related changes in the neural basis of proprioceptive processes e. This raises the question why some studies did not find age effects in proprioceptive matching tasks. One potential explanation may be that older subjects can compensate for this decline, due to implicit learning mechanism throughout life. This question will be a major challenge for future studies and could also inform us how proprioceptive impairments can be prevented or treated by exploiting such compensatory mechanisms.

No sex-specific differences were found in APS performance in the present study. This negative finding contradicts the widely shared assumption that males have better spatial skills as compared to females Voyer et al.

However, previously performed studies have not yet been able to explain the sex-specific differences in these tasks and simply assumed sex as a causal factor.

Contreras et al. They found that sex was not important for correctly solving these tasks, but rather a specific type of process that determined participants' efficiency in solving a spatial task. Therefore, the magnitude of the advantage that males may have over females crucially also depends on the type of spatial task.

Accordingly, limb position sense imposes demands on the proprioceptive system in the personal space and might require the same underlying cognitive abilities in males and females and activate the same type of processes for solving the task in both sexes.

This may explain the lack of any sex effects in our APS task. Impaired limb position sense is a frequent and debilitating sequel after stroke Shah, ; Smith et al. Positions sense disorders are likely to be caused by a failure to link somatosensory with egocentric information Vallar et al. Patients show constraints in performing activities of daily living, have problems in safety, postural stability and motor functions Carey, ; Carey et al.

In the clinic, patients with impaired APS show poorer and longer motor recovery of the hemiparetic or hemiplegic arm Kuffosky et al. Previous studies found that left-sided visuospatial neglect after right-brain damage is functionally associated with impaired arm position judgments in the contralesional arm Schmidt et al. This proprioceptive deficit can be temporarily restored by GVS Schmidt et al. This improvement may be either due to a more veridical perception of their contralesional arm, or of the target LED, or of both components.

Xenomelic subjects, who desire the amputation of healthy limbs, show a reduced activation in the right superior parietal cortex during tactile stimulation of the affected leg McGeoch et al.

Hilti et al. These brain areas correspond neatly with those identified in patients with somatoparaphrenia, where the patient feels that a paralyzed limb does not belong to his body Gandola et al. In turn, this lesion pattern, involving a fronto-temporo-parietal network in the right cerebral hemisphere, is typically associated with spatial neglect, hemiplegia and anosognosia Gandola et al.

The overestimation of body size in patients with anorexia nervosa is proposed to be, besides psycho-affective causes, the result of impaired neural mechanisms supporting body representation, comparable to patients following stroke. In an interesting, innovative study Nico et al. They found that patients with anorexia nervosa and those with right parietal damage selectively underestimated the extent of their left body boundary in a similar way. This finding confirms the important role of the right parietal cortex in building-up and updating of the representation of the body and peripersonal space Graziano and Gross, , also in anorexics Grunwald et al.

We have tested the APS using a visual reference LED while most of the other studies on arm proprioception use non-visual tasks. This may have led to different results. As another limitation, we did not collect data of the vertical or sagittal dimension and, therefore, we are not able to make conclusions about the generalization of our results on the entire egocentric coordinate system, as suggested in other studies e. Moreover, we cannot exclude the possibility that we may have missed age-related deteriorations in proprioception in the form of an increased variability as a result of the limited number of trials in our assessment with the APD, as found with other devices and more trials in elderly subjects Cressman et al.

In summary, this study provides normative data from healthy subjects for APS of a wide age range 20—77 years for both arms in the horizontal plane. APS in our healthy subjects was not significantly influenced by age or sex, but all right-handed healthy subjects showed significantly more accurate performance in their non-dominant left arm.

This indicates a clear right-hemisphere superiority for left APS in right-handers. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Adamo, D. Age-related differences in upper limb proprioceptive acuity. Motor Skills , — Amunts, K.

Asymmetry in the human motor cortex and handedness. Neuroimage 4, — Azouvi, P. Sensitivity of clinical and behavioural tests of spatial neglect after right hemisphere stroke. Psychiatry 73, — Beis, J. Right spatial neglect after left hemisphere stroke: qualitative and quantitative study.

Neurology 63, — Berti, A. The limb is mine but I do not want it: from anatomy to body ownership. Brain , 9— CrossRef Full Text. Bickley, L. Carey, L.

Somatosensory loss after stroke. Sensory loss in stroke patients: effective training of tactile and proprioceptive discrimination. Evaluation of impaired fingertip texture discrimination and wrist position sense in patients affected by stroke: comparison of clinical and new quantitative measures. Hand Ther. Impaired limb position sense after stroke: a quantitative test for clinical use.

Coderre, A. Assessment of upper-limb sensorimotor function of subacute stroke patients using visually guided reaching. Neural Repair 24, — Connell, L. Somatosensory impairment after stroke: frequency of different deficits and their recovery. Contreras, M. Do the sex differences play such an important role in explaining performance in spatial tasks? Cressman, E. Visuomotor adaptation and proprioceptive recalibration in older adults.

Brain Res. De Weerdt, W. Prediction of arm and hand function recovery in stroke patients. Pubmed Abstract Pubmed Full Text. Dijkerman, H. Somatosensory processes subserving perception and action. Brain Sci. Dukelow, S. Quantitative assessment of limb position sense following stroke. Ferrell, W. Age-dependent changes in position sense in human proximal interphalangeal joints. Neuroreport 3, — Feys, H. Predicting motor recovery of the upper limb after stroke rehabilitation: value of a clinical examination.

Fuentes, C. Where is your arm? Variations in proprioception across space and tasks. Gandola, M. An anatomical account of somatoparaphrenia. Cortex 48, — Garraway, W.

This finding corresponds neatly with findings of recent studies concerning APS in healthy right-handers Schmidt et al. Apparently, the own body plays an important role for determining the position of own limbs in the absence of vision in the personal near space. The most common assessment of proprioception in the elderly is assessment of the static position of limb segments Goble et al. Interestingly, we did not find a significant decrease in APS accuracy and precision with age.

This finding is at first glance at variance with almost all other studies conducted on this topic, which show a clear age effect on proprioceptive abilities Adamo et al. Interestingly, this deterioration in the ability to sense the position of a body segment with age is typically found in studies which used limb matching tasks using both arms , as mentioned in the introduction, but not in studies using proprioceptive matching tasks with visual reference points where subjects indicate the felt position of their limb relative to a visual marker Cressman et al.

Moreover, reduced proprioceptive acuity may also reflect age-related changes in cognitive functions i. To circumvent such potentially influential factors, the examination of APS with the APD was kept as short and simple as possible. Therefore, potential confounding factors such as decreased memory abilities or reduced sustained attention with age Reuter-Lorenz and Sylvester, , or age-related deteriorations in cognitive processing which influence sensorimotor functions Li and Lindenberger, were minimized in our sample, in contrast to ipsilateral remembered matching tasks.

The fact that assessing APS with the APD requires matching of each forearm's position in relation to a visual reference point in peripersonal space and not in relation to the other arm, avoids another confounding factor of contralateral concurrent matching tasks, namely the interhemispheric transfer of proprioceptive feedback due to the age-related degeneration of the corpus callosum Salat et al.

They found a main effect of age on absolute matching errors with greatest errors in the most demanding condition, which required both memory and interhemispheric transfer, in the older age group, suggesting that these tasks require more than merely position sense. Moreover, recent studies did not find age effects in all kinds of analyzed errors of position sense of specific limbs, e.

Therefore, the missing age effect in the present study can be explained by interaction effects of computed outcome parameter and the analyzed limb. This is consistent with the result that younger and older aging people show similar proprioceptive acuity when APS is assessed in a visual-to- proprioceptive matching task, such as in the APD in the present study Ferrell et al. This finding suggests that the extent of proprioceptive recalibration with visual reference markers is independent of age and remains largely constant throughout the lifespan.

Another explanation for the lack of age effects in the present study as compared to previous studies could be the different task demands as proposed by Cressman et al.

According to Fuentes and Bastian , endpoint limb positions are more robust against deteriorations due to age than angle position information. They argue that due to the greater behavioral need to estimate limb positions than joint angles, the brain may immediately encode limb position from peripheral sensory signals as compared to joint angle estimates which have to be extracted from these representations.

Apart from task-specific effects, there is clear evidence for age-related changes in the neural basis of proprioceptive processes e. This raises the question why some studies did not find age effects in proprioceptive matching tasks.

One potential explanation may be that older subjects can compensate for this decline, due to implicit learning mechanism throughout life. This question will be a major challenge for future studies and could also inform us how proprioceptive impairments can be prevented or treated by exploiting such compensatory mechanisms.

No sex-specific differences were found in APS performance in the present study. This negative finding contradicts the widely shared assumption that males have better spatial skills as compared to females Voyer et al. However, previously performed studies have not yet been able to explain the sex-specific differences in these tasks and simply assumed sex as a causal factor. Contreras et al. They found that sex was not important for correctly solving these tasks, but rather a specific type of process that determined participants' efficiency in solving a spatial task.

Therefore, the magnitude of the advantage that males may have over females crucially also depends on the type of spatial task. Accordingly, limb position sense imposes demands on the proprioceptive system in the personal space and might require the same underlying cognitive abilities in males and females and activate the same type of processes for solving the task in both sexes.

This may explain the lack of any sex effects in our APS task. Impaired limb position sense is a frequent and debilitating sequel after stroke Shah, ; Smith et al. Positions sense disorders are likely to be caused by a failure to link somatosensory with egocentric information Vallar et al.

Patients show constraints in performing activities of daily living, have problems in safety, postural stability and motor functions Carey, ; Carey et al. In the clinic, patients with impaired APS show poorer and longer motor recovery of the hemiparetic or hemiplegic arm Kuffosky et al.

Previous studies found that left-sided visuospatial neglect after right-brain damage is functionally associated with impaired arm position judgments in the contralesional arm Schmidt et al.

This proprioceptive deficit can be temporarily restored by GVS Schmidt et al. This improvement may be either due to a more veridical perception of their contralesional arm, or of the target LED, or of both components.

Xenomelic subjects, who desire the amputation of healthy limbs, show a reduced activation in the right superior parietal cortex during tactile stimulation of the affected leg McGeoch et al.

Hilti et al. These brain areas correspond neatly with those identified in patients with somatoparaphrenia, where the patient feels that a paralyzed limb does not belong to his body Gandola et al.

In turn, this lesion pattern, involving a fronto-temporo-parietal network in the right cerebral hemisphere, is typically associated with spatial neglect, hemiplegia and anosognosia Gandola et al. The overestimation of body size in patients with anorexia nervosa is proposed to be, besides psycho-affective causes, the result of impaired neural mechanisms supporting body representation, comparable to patients following stroke.

In an interesting, innovative study Nico et al. They found that patients with anorexia nervosa and those with right parietal damage selectively underestimated the extent of their left body boundary in a similar way. This finding confirms the important role of the right parietal cortex in building-up and updating of the representation of the body and peripersonal space Graziano and Gross, , also in anorexics Grunwald et al.

We have tested the APS using a visual reference LED while most of the other studies on arm proprioception use non-visual tasks. This may have led to different results. As another limitation, we did not collect data of the vertical or sagittal dimension and, therefore, we are not able to make conclusions about the generalization of our results on the entire egocentric coordinate system, as suggested in other studies e.

Moreover, we cannot exclude the possibility that we may have missed age-related deteriorations in proprioception in the form of an increased variability as a result of the limited number of trials in our assessment with the APD, as found with other devices and more trials in elderly subjects Cressman et al. In summary, this study provides normative data from healthy subjects for APS of a wide age range 20—77 years for both arms in the horizontal plane.

APS in our healthy subjects was not significantly influenced by age or sex, but all right-handed healthy subjects showed significantly more accurate performance in their non-dominant left arm. This indicates a clear right-hemisphere superiority for left APS in right-handers. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Front Hum Neurosci v. Front Hum Neurosci. Published online Dec Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Jul 5; Accepted Dec The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author s or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.

No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Position sense is an important proprioceptive ability. Keywords: proprioception, position sense, body, aging, sex, assessment, stroke. Introduction Proprioception is defined as the sense of position and movement of the limbs without information coming from the visual system Fuentes and Bastian, Clinical significance of proprioceptive loss Loss of limb position occurs in one third to half of stroke patients Shah, ; Smith et al.

Assessments of position sense To date, most studies in clinical and healthy populations have examined lower limb position sense, although several studies have also measured position sense of the upper limb e. Methods Participants A total of 87 healthy subjects participated in the present study. Table 1 Demographical and experimental data of the three age groups and total group.

Open in a separate window. Figure 1. Figure 2. Table 2 Summary of the normative data for APS measured with the APD for both arms, separately for the three age groups and the three outcome parameters: mean absolute errors AE , mean constant errors CE and mean difference threshold difference limen, DL in degrees.

Ninety-five percent-confidence intervals are indicated. SD, standard deviation. Figure 3. Arm position sense in healthy subjects Normative data The present study reports normative data of APS in the horizontal domain from a rather large group of healthy subjects up to an age of 77 years, assessed with a new device APD , allowing to determine angular deviations with a resolution of 0.

Right- vs. Proximal vs. Age The most common assessment of proprioception in the elderly is assessment of the static position of limb segments Goble et al. Sex No sex-specific differences were found in APS performance in the present study. Clinical issues Impaired limb position sense is a frequent and debilitating sequel after stroke Shah, ; Smith et al. Limitations We have tested the APS using a visual reference LED while most of the other studies on arm proprioception use non-visual tasks.

Conclusion In summary, this study provides normative data from healthy subjects for APS of a wide age range 20—77 years for both arms in the horizontal plane. Conflict of interest statement The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. References Adamo D. Age-related differences in upper limb proprioceptive acuity. Motor Skills , — Asymmetry in the human motor cortex and handedness.

Neuroimage 4 , — Sensitivity of clinical and behavioural tests of spatial neglect after right hemisphere stroke. Psychiatry 73 , — Right spatial neglect after left hemisphere stroke: qualitative and quantitative study. Neurology 63 , — The limb is mine but I do not want it: from anatomy to body ownership. Brain , 9—13 Somatosensory loss after stroke. Sensory loss in stroke patients: effective training of tactile and proprioceptive discrimination.

Evaluation of impaired fingertip texture discrimination and wrist position sense in patients affected by stroke: comparison of clinical and new quantitative measures. Hand Ther. Impaired limb position sense after stroke: a quantitative test for clinical use. Assessment of upper-limb sensorimotor function of subacute stroke patients using visually guided reaching. Neural Repair 24 , — Somatosensory impairment after stroke: frequency of different deficits and their recovery.

Do the sex differences play such an important role in explaining performance in spatial tasks? Visuomotor adaptation and proprioceptive recalibration in older adults. Brain Res. Prediction of arm and hand function recovery in stroke patients. Somatosensory processes subserving perception and action. Brain Sci. I was already fantasizing about an all-black version for myself, the dark counterpart to her angelic aura.

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Effects of age, sex and arm on the precision of arm position . least (20/40 snellen equivalent) for the near viewing distance ( m) in order. Disorders of arm position sense (APS) often occur after unilateral stroke, and are and instability of horizontal APS as a function of age, sex and arm. equivalent) for the near viewing distance ( m) in order to see the red.

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