Luigi Trojano

Professor of Neuropsychology

Name Luigi
Surname Trojano
Institution Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli
Address Department of Psychology, University of Campania 'Luigi Vanvitelli', Viale Ellittico 31, 81100 Caserta, Italy


  • Representational neglect in "invisible" drawing from memory.

    Publication Date: 01/03/2009 on Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior
    by Cristinzio C, Bourlon C, Pradat-Diehl P, Trojano L, Grossi D, Chokron S, Bartolomeo P
    DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2008.03.013

    We describe the case of a patient with right hemisphere damage and left unilateral neglect. The patient was asked to draw from memory common objects, either with or without visual feedback. In the conditions without visual feedback the patient was either blindfolded or he made "invisible" drawings using a pen with the cap on, the drawings being recorded with carbon paper underneath. Results showed more neglect without than with visual feedback, contrary to previously published cases. This patient's pattern of performance may result from the contribution of a deficit of spatial working memory. Alternatively or in addition, the patient, who was undergoing cognitive rehabilitation for neglect, may have found easier to compensate for his neglect with visual feedback, which allowed him to visually explore the left part of his drawings.

  • Closing-in without severe drawing disorders: the "fatal" consequences of pathological attraction.

    Publication Date: 01/03/2009 on Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior
    by Conson M, Salzano S, Manzo V, Grossi D, Trojano L
    DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2007.11.013

    The closing-in phenomenon (CIP) is often observed in patients with severe drawing disorders, but its cognitive bases are not well understood. We describe an experimental investigation aimed to clarify the nature of closing-in and its relationships with drawing disorders in a patient with corticobasal degeneration. In copying simple or complex stimuli (Experiment 1), the patient showed adherent and near types of closing-in, not affected by stimulus complexity, and produced distorted and often unrecognisable drawings. On the contrary, in drawing to dictation (without any available model), patients' performances significantly improved with respect to copying (Experiment 2). These data were consistent with the hypothesis that in some patients closing-in may develop from frontal-related release of approach behaviour even in the absence of relevant visuoperceptual impairments. By asking the patient to reproduce given spatial locations within circular frames (Experiment 3), we could further demonstrate the sparing of visuospatial processing and the frontal genesis of closing-in. These findings allowed us to speculate on the heterogeneous nature of closing-in.

  • Unilateral left prosopometamorphopsia: a neuropsychological case study.

    Publication Date: 01/02/2009 on Neuropsychologia
    by Trojano L, Conson M, Salzano S, Manzo V, Grossi D
    DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.12.015

    We describe a patient who suddenly developed prosopometamorphopsia after a childbirth; she claimed that the left half of well-known and unfamiliar faces looked distorted. Brain MR was normal, whereas SPECT showed hypoperfusion of the left infero-lateral occipital cortex. No visual recognition defects for objects or faces were present. In three matching tasks with half-faces (Experiment 1), chimeric faces (Experiment 2), or chimeric objects (Experiment 3), the patient was impaired only when she matched pairs of chimeric faces differing in their left half; the same results were obtained after 1 year. This is the first behavioural demonstration of selective chronic metamorphopsia for the left side of faces, and provides new insights for models of face processing.

  • Left hand tactile agnosia after posterior callosal lesion.

    Publication Date: 01/09/2008 on Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior
    by Balsamo M, Trojano L, Giamundo A, Grossi D
    DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2008.01.003

    We report a patient with a hemorrhagic lesion encroaching upon the posterior third of the corpus callosum but sparing the splenium. She showed marked difficulties in recognizing objects and shapes perceived through her left hand, while she could appreciate elementary sensorial features of items tactually presented to the same hand flawlessly. This picture, corresponding to classical descriptions of unilateral associative tactile agnosia, was associated with finger agnosia of the left hand. This very unusual case report can be interpreted as an instance of disconnection syndrome, and allows a discussion of mechanisms involved in tactile object recognition.

  • Selective motor imagery defect in patients with locked-in syndrome.

    Publication Date: 01/09/2008 on Neuropsychologia
    by Conson M, Sacco S, Sarà M, Pistoia F, Grossi D, Trojano L
    DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.04.015

    Recent studies indicate that motor imagery is subserved by activation of motor information. However, at present it is not clear whether the sparing of motor efferent pathways is necessary to perform a motor imagery task. To clarify this issue, we required patients with a selective, severe de-efferentation (locked-in syndrome, LIS) to mentally manipulate hands and three-dimensional objects. Compared with normal controls, LIS patients showed a profound impairment on a modified version of the hand-laterality task and a normal performance on mental rotation of abstract items. Moreover, LIS patients did not present visuomotor compatibility effects between anatomical side of hands and spatial location of stimuli on the computer screen. Such findings confirmed that the motor system is involved in mental simulation of action but not in mental manipulation of visual images. To explain LIS patients' inability in manipulating hand representations, we suggested that the pontine lesion, both determined a complete de-efferentation, and affected a component of the motor system, which is crucial for mental representation of body parts, probably the neural connections between parietal lobes and cerebellum.

  • Rehabilitation of gesture imitation: a case study with fMRI.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2008 on Neurocase
    by Barbarulo AM, Pappatà S, Puoti G, Prinster A, Grossi D, Cotrufo R, Salvatore M, Trojano L
    DOI: 10.1080/13554790802363688

    Acquired disorders of gesture imitation are amenable to treatment, but with poor generalisation toward gestures not included in the training program. We investigated the neural basis of this item-specific recovery in a patient with a slowly progressive posterior cortical atrophy, by means of an fMRI study comparing imitation of rehabilitated and not-rehabilitated gestures. Results suggested that in our patient gesture imitation recruited the mirror system and additional areas relevant to gesture analysis and preparation. Imitation of rehabilitated gestures activated the mirror neuron system, and also left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and putamen, and the right anterior temporal cortex. This suggests that item-specific recovery was based on interaction of circuitry of imitation with neural systems involved in emotional and motivational processing.

  • Visuospatial and visuoconstructive deficits.

    Publication Date: 01/01/2008 on Handbook of clinical neurology
    by Trojano L, Conson M
    DOI: 10.1016/S0072-9752(07)88019-5
  • A neuropsychological longitudinal study in Parkinson's patients with and without hallucinations.

    Publication Date: 01/12/2007 on Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society
    by Santangelo G, Trojano L, Vitale C, Ianniciello M, Amboni M, Grossi D, Barone P
    DOI: 10.1002/mds.21746

    The aim of this work was to determine the progression of cognitive impairment in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with or without hallucinations. Two years after the first assessment, 36 PD patients were re-evaluated on standardized neuropsychological tests, including the Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), and on rating scales for overall cognitive functioning, functional autonomy, behavioral disorders. Nine patients had hallucinations at baseline and endpoint assessments; 12 patients developed hallucinations during the follow-up; and 15 patients were hallucination-free throughout the study. Cognitive performance significantly declined in all three groups, but at endpoint assessment PD hallucinators scored significantly lower than nonhallucinators on phonological and semantic fluency tasks, immediate free recall and the go/no-go FAB subtest; moreover, they showed more severe apathy than nonhallucinators. Reduced phonological fluency at baseline (odds ratio [OR], 13.5; 95% CI: 1.34-135.98, P = 0.027) was the only independent predictor of onset of hallucinations after 2 years, whereas hallucinations (OR, 10.1; 95% CI: 1.94-51.54, P = 0.006) and poor phonological fluency (OR, 6.1; 95% CI: 1.04-35.03, P = 0.045) independently predicted development of diffuse cognitive impairment. We concluded that reduced verbal fluency scores may predict the onset of hallucinations, while hallucinations and poor phonological fluency may predict development of dementia in PD patients.

  • An experimental investigation of the automatic/voluntary dissociation in limb apraxia.

    Publication Date: 01/11/2007 on Brain and cognition
    by Trojano L, Labruna L, Grossi D
    DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2007.07.010

    The ability of apraxic patients to perform gestures in everyday life is a controversial issue. In this paper, we aimed to evaluate the automatic/voluntary dissociation (AVD) in four patients affected by clinically relevant limb apraxia. For this purpose, we sampled different kinds of gestures belonging to patients' motor repertoire and then assessed their production in a testing session. Our experimental procedure consisted of two steps: in the first phase, we recorded gestures produced by patients in two natural conditions; in the second phase, we assessed production of correctly produced tool-actions, and of spontaneous non tool-actions and meaningless conversational (cohesive and beats) gestures under different modalities. AVD was observed for all types of gestures, albeit to different degree in single patients. The present findings demonstrate that the context provides strong bottom-up cues for the retrieval of motor patterns, while artificial testing conditions impose an additional cognitive load.

  • Object-based neglect for the near peripersonal space in drawing tasks.

    Publication Date: 01/08/2007 on European journal of neurology
    by Grossi D, Esposito D, Cuomo C, Conchiglia G, Trojano L
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2007.01690.x

    We report a patient with a right cortical and subcortical temporo-occipital lesion who showed spatial neglect mainly involving the left and the near peripersonal space. In drawing tasks the patient omitted the elements closer to him within each figure. A copying task with pairs of radially aligned line drawings demonstrated that the patient's radial neglect was based on within-object coordinates. This novel observation extends the egocentric-allocentric distinction to the radial dimension.