Impaired Performance in Mental Rotation of Hands and Feet and Its Association with Social Cognition in Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Dasom Lee, Soo Hee Choi, Eunchung Noh, Won Joon Lee, Joon Hwan Jang, Jee Youn Moon, Do Hyung Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: So far, dysfunction in mental rotation has been assessed in relation to the left- or right-sided CRPS. Here we examined mental rotation in patients with upper or lower limb CRPS. Considering the potential role of socio-emotional functioning on the perception of body image, we further investigated the association between performance on mental rotation and socio-emotional characteristics. Methods: We examined the performance of 36 patients with upper or lower limb CRPS on the limb laterality recognition. Accuracy and response times for pictures of hands and feet at 4 rotation angles were evaluated. Socio-emotional functioning was measured by the Interpersonal Reactivity Scale and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Results: Patients with upper limb pain showed longer RTs to recognize the laterality of hands than feet (P = 0.002), whereas patients with lower limb pain showed longer RTs for feet than hands (P = 0.039). Exploratory correlation analyses revealed that RTs for feet were negatively correlated with the levels of empathic ability to take another's perspective (P = 0.006) and positively correlated with the level of emotional difficulty in identifying feelings (P = 0.006). Conclusions: This study is the first to report selectively impaired mental rotation of hands vs feet in patients with upper or lower limb CRPS. The findings suggest that impaired mental rotation derives from relative deficits in the representation of the affected limb. Correlations between impaired mental rotation and socio-emotional inability indicate that an altered body schema may be closely associated with impaired social cognitive aspects in CRPS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1411-1419
Number of pages9
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Volume22
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Alexithymia
  • Body Schema
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Empathy
  • Mental Rotation

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