Fine motor retardation and depression
Pergamon-elsevier science ltd
SourceJournal of Psychiatric Research, 30, 4, (1996), pp. 295-306
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
Journal of Psychiatric Research
New computerized techniques allow the precise measurement of psychomotor retardation in patients with a major depressive episode (MDE). One such technique is the analysis of writing and drawing behaviour during figure copying tasks. In the present study, 22 inpatients with an MDE were compared to 22 normal controls. Three tasks were used: the drawing of lines and simple figures, the copying of complex figures and a task in which figures had to be rotated. Objectives were to provide support for earlier findings that the patients were slower than the controls and to explore the cognitive and motor processes involved. Two strategies were applied: analysis of the reaction time and movement time and their different components, and manipulation of the cognitive and motor demands. Patients showed considerable retardation with most of the kinematic variables. Motor deficits and cognitive slowing down contributed to this retardation. Cognitive difficulties increased with increasing complexity of the task.
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