Closing-in without severe drawing disorders: The "fatal" consequences of pathological attraction

Massimiliano Conson, Sara Salzano, Valentino Manzo, Dario Grossi, Luigi Trojano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-292
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Closing-in
  • Corticobasal degeneration
  • Drawing impairments
  • Executive functions
  • Frontal lobe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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