Self-motion perception in Parkinson's disease

Orly Halperin, Simon Israeli-Korn, Sol Yakubovich, Sharon Hassin-Baer, Adam Zaidel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Parkinson's disease (PD), best characterized by its classic motor symptoms, also manifests non-motor symptoms including perceptual impairments. Normal motor and perceptual brain functions interact continuously in an action–perception loop; hence, perceptual and motor dysfunction in PD are likely also intertwined. A vital skill in order to maintain balance, and to move around in the environment is the ability to perceive one's own motion in space (self-motion perception). Self-motion perception is a complex brain process, that requires the integration of information from visual (optic flow), vestibular (gravito-inertial), and somatosensory senses. Yet, not much is known about self-motion perception or multisensory integration in PD. In this review, we highlight the need to better study these important functions in PD. We review perceptual deficits in underlying functions required for adept self-motion perception (visual, vestibular and somatosensory, as well as multisensory integration) and address how these might affect self-motion perception and motor function in PD. We propose that dysfunction of central brain mechanisms, implicated in impaired visual, vestibular and somatosensory function, likely impact self-motion perception in PD. Recent evidence suggests that visual and multisensory integration mechanisms of self-motion perception are indeed impaired in PD. This can affect motor control, gait and balance. Future research is needed to better investigate this important topic. A better understanding of self-motion perception and multisensory integration in PD may aid diagnosis and subtyping and may open new avenues for novel therapies to treat debilitating motor symptoms, including gait and balance impairment, using sensory augmentation devices or sensory retraining.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2376-2387
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd


This work was supported by grants from The Israeli Centers of Research Excellence (I‐CORE, Center No. 51/11) and The National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel (NIPI, 235‐17‐18) to A.Z. The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

FundersFunder number
National Institute for Psychobiology in Israel235‐17‐18
Israeli Centers for Research Excellence51/11


    • action–perception loop
    • multisensory integration
    • optic flow
    • somatosensory
    • vestibular


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