Moving with or without will: functional neural correlates of alien hand syndrome

  title={Moving with or without will: functional neural correlates of alien hand syndrome},
  author={Fr{\'e}d{\'e}ric Assal and Sophie Schwartz and Patrik Vuilleumier},
  journal={Annals of Neurology},
Alien hand syndrome is a rare neurological disorder in which movements are performed without conscious will. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging in a patient with alien hand syndrome after right parietal lesion, we could identify brain regions activated during involuntary or voluntary actions with the affected left hand. Alien hand movements involved a selective activation of contralateral primary motor cortex (M1), presumably released from conscious control by intentional planning… 

Alien Hand Syndrome: Neural Correlates of Movements without Conscious Will

Evidence is provided for a distributed neural network associated with unwanted movements in alien hand syndrome, including brain regions known to be related to movement execution and planning as well as areas that have been linked to inhibition control and experience of agency.

Alien hand syndrome: a neurological disorder of will

In a functional MRI study of AHS, major activation was reported for the frontal inferior gyrus of the dominant hemisphere in voluntary movement of the affected hand, suggesting an important role of this area in organizing willed actions.

Intermittent Alien Hand Syndrome and Callosal Apraxia in Multiple Sclerosis: Implications for Interhemispheric Communication

Her specific pattern of symptoms supports the role of the corpus callosum in interhemispheric communication for complex as well as fine motor activities and may indicate that it can serve as both an inhibitory and excitatory function depending on task demands.


Alien hand syndrome (AHS) also called as Dr. Strangelove syndrome or anarchic hand is autonomous, motor, involuntary movement of limb. It is caused when a person had two brain hemispheres surgically

Dominant posterior-variant alien hand syndrome after acute left parietal infarction

Anarchic hand with abnormal agency following right inferior parietal lobe damage: a case report

A general disturbance of veridical motor awareness and agency is suggested in this case of parietal AHS following right-hemisphere parietal damage, with left-sided somatosensory and proprioceptive impairment.

Alien Hand Syndrome

The literature is reviewed to update advances in the understanding of the classification, pathophysiology, etiology, and treatment of Alien hand syndrome.

Alien hand syndrome – a rare presentation of stroke

An 88-year-old right-handed male with involuntary movement of his left forearm and hand three hours prior to presentation is presented with Alien Hand Syndrome, which corresponded to findings on MRI of the brain, which showed acute infarcts of the right temporal lobe, right parietal cortex, andright parietal subcortex.



"Alien hand" and loss of bimanual coordination after dominant anterior cerebral artery territory infarction.

Three patients with dominant anterior cerebral artery territory infarction demonstrated a severe disturbance of upper limb motor control with impaired bimanual coordination, the "alien hand" sign,

Altered awareness of voluntary action after damage to the parietal cortex

It is proposed that when a movement is planned, activity in the parietal cortex, as part of a cortico-cortical sensorimotor processing loop, generates a predictive internal model of the upcoming movement that might form the neural correlate of motor awareness.

The alien hand: cases, categorizations, and anatomical correlates.

The clinical characteristics and neuroanatomical damage reported in more than 50 published cases of observed "alien-hand" signs are reviewed and suggestions are made regarding current categorizations and available assessment methods.

Alien motor phenomena: A window on to agency

  • S. Spence
  • Psychology
    Cognitive neuropsychiatry
  • 2002
Whereas alien/anarchic limb dysfunction may be relatively easily explained in cognitive neurobiological terms, a comprehensive account of alien control will require further empirical ingenuity.

Primary Motor and Sensory Cortex Activation during Motor Performance and Motor Imagery: A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study

The hypothesis that MI and MP involve overlapping neural networks in perirolandic cortical areas is supported by functional magnetic resonance imaging techniques.

Right-sided anarchic (alien) hand: A longitudinal study

Willed action and the prefrontal cortex in man: a study with PET

Willed acts in the two response modalities studied (speaking a word, or lifting a finger) were associated with increased blood flow in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann area 46) and decreases in blood flow were also associated, but the location of these decreases was modality dependent.