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Author Notes:

Corresponding Author: Madeleine E. Hackney, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Research Health Scientist, Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation (151R), Atlanta VA Medical Center, 1841 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta, GA 30324, madeleine.hackney@emory.edu, mehackn@emory.edu

Author Contributions: Each author was involved with 1) substantial contributions to conception and design, or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; 2) drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and 3) final approval of the version to be published.

We acknowledge the participants’ time.

We acknowledge Dr. Kathleen E. McKee, M.D., for recruitment and assessment assistance.

There are no apparent conflicts of interest in terms of honoraria received, speaker forums, consultant roles, stocks, royalties, expert testimony, board memberships, patents, or personal relationships of any of the authors.


Research Funding:

The Emory Center for Injury Control, the Dan and Merrie Boone Foundation, and the Emory Center for Health in Aging supported the study.

This study was also supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UL1TR000454.

The Department of VA R&D Service Career Development Awards (E7108M and N0870W) supported ME Hackney.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • spatial cognition
  • Parkinson's
  • visuospatial
  • neurodegenerative
  • gait
  • mobility
  • egocentric
  • allocentric
  • older adults

The Body Position Spatial Task, a Test of Whole-Body Spatial Cognition: Comparison Between Adults With and Without Parkinson Disease


Journal Title:

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair


Volume 32, Number 11


, Pages 961-975

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Background. The Body Position Spatial Task (BPST) is a novel measure of whole-body spatial cognition involving multidirectional steps and turns. Individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) are affected by motor and cognitive impairments, particularly in spatial function, which is important for mental imagery and navigation. Performance on the BPST may inform understanding of motor-cognitive and spatial cognitive function of individuals with PD. Objectives. We conducted this study to determine feasibility and validity of the BPST with standard, validated, and reliable measures of spatial cognition and motor-cognitive integration and to compare BPST performance in adults with and without PD. Methods. A total of 91 individuals with mild-moderate PD and 112 neurotypical (NT) adults of similar age were recruited for the study to complete the BPST and other measures of mobility and cognition. Correlations were used to determine construct and concurrent validity of BPST with valid measures of spatial cognition and motor-cognitive integration. Performance was compared between PD and NT adults using independent t-tests. Results. BPST was feasible to administer. Analyses show evidence of construct validity for spatial cognition and for motor-cognitive integration. Concurrent validity was demonstrated with other tests of mobility and cognition. Relationships were stronger and more significant for individuals with PD than for NT individuals. BPST performance was not significantly different between groups. Conclusion. Tests that integrate cognitive challenge in mobility contexts are necessary to assess the health of spatial cognitive and motor-cognitive integration. The BPST is a feasible and valid test of whole-body spatial cognition and motor-cognitive integration in individuals with PD.

Copyright information:

© The Author(s) 2018.

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