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Looking but Not Seeing: Recent Perspectives on Posterior Cortical Atrophy

Crutch, SJ; Yong, KXX; Shakespeare, TJ; (2016) Looking but Not Seeing: Recent Perspectives on Posterior Cortical Atrophy. Current Directions in Psychological Science , 25 (4) pp. 251-260. 10.1177/0963721416655999. Green open access

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Abstract

Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is the canonical “visual dementia,” with affected individuals experiencing a progressive disintegration of their visual world owing to dysfunction and atrophy at the back of the brain. The syndrome, which also affects literacy, numeracy, and gesture, is typically caused by Alzheimer’s disease, but is distinguished from more common amnestic presentations by virtue of relatively preserved episodic memory and insight. Although problems with object and space perception are the most widely reported and investigated symptoms, these higher-order perceptual difficulties are often underpinned by an array of changes in more basic visual and oculomotor processes. Here we review recent studies providing insights into these more elementary aspects of vision in PCA, including fixation stability, saccade generation, point localization, excessive crowding, and factors affecting the effective field of vision. We argue that a more detailed appreciation of these fundamental changes in the early visual system not only will improve the characterization and understanding of this rare clinico-radiological syndrome but will also guide the design of visual aids and strategies aimed at maintaining everyday abilities in individuals with PCA.

Type: Article
Title: Looking but Not Seeing: Recent Perspectives on Posterior Cortical Atrophy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0963721416655999
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721416655999
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: posterior cortical atrophy, Alzheimer’s disease, vision, oculomotor, crowding, dyslexia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1514252
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