Anosognosia for hemianaesthesia: A voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping study

Lorenzo Pia, Lucia Spinazzola, Francesca Garbarini, Giulia Bellan, Alessandro Piedimonte, Carlotta Fossataro, Alessandro Livelli, Dalila Burin, Anna Berti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Brain-damaged patients affected by hemianaesthesia (i.e., the loss of tactile sensibility on the contralesional side of the body) may deny their deficits (i.e., anosognosia for tactile deficits) even reporting tactile experience when stimuli are delivered on the impaired side. So far, descriptive analysis on small samples of patients reported that the insular cortex, the internal/external capsule, the basal ganglia and the periventricular white matter would subserve anosognosia for hemianaesthesia. Here, we aimed at examining in depth the anatomo-functional nature of anosognosia for hemianaesthesia by means of a voxelwise statistical analysis. We compared two groups of left hemiplegic patients due to right brain damages differing only for the presence/absence of anosognosia for left hemianaesthesia. Our findings showed a lesional cluster confined mainly to the anterior part of the putamen. According to the current anatomical evidence on the neural basis of sensory expectancies, we suggested that anosognosia for hemianaesthesia might be explained as a failure to detect the mismatch between expected and actual tactile stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-166
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Anosognosia for hemianaesthesia
  • Anterior putamen
  • Somatosensory awareness
  • Somatosensory expectancies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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