Impairment in visual-spatial function in catatonia: A neuropsychological investigation

G. Northoff, D. Nagel, P. Danos, A. Leschinger, J. Lerche, B. Bogerts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Catatonia is a psychomotor syndrome with motor and behavioral abnormalities which may be due to alterations in fronto-parietal cortical function. We therefore investigated neuropsychological tasks (attention, executive, visual-spatial, working memory) associated with frontal and parietal cortical function. Thirteen catatonic patients, diagnosed as catatonic according to criteria by Rosebush and Bush, were compared with 13 psychiatric non-catatonic controls (matched with regard to underlying psychiatric diagnosis, age, sex, and medication), and 13 age- and sex- matched healthy controls. Catatonics showed significantly poorer performances and different neuropsychological intercorrelation patterns in visual-spatial object perception (VOSPobject) than psychiatric and healthy controls. In addition, we found significant correlations between catatonic symptoms, visual-spatial abilities, and attentional measures (i.e., d2, CWI). Catatonia was characterized by specific visual-spatial deficits which are related to attentional abilities and right parietal cortical function. The data suggest attentional-motor and fronto-parietal dysfunction in catatonia, a conclusion which should be considered as preliminary, however, due to the small sample size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-147
Number of pages15
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 25 1999


  • Attention
  • Catatonia
  • Right parietal cortex
  • Visual-spatial ability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neurology
  • General Psychology


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