Lesion-symptom mapping of a complex figure copy task: A large-scale PCA study of the BCoS trial

Haobo Chen, Xiaoping Pan, Johnny King Lam Lau, Wai Ling Bickerton, Boddana Pradeep, Maliheh Taheri, Glyn Humphreys, Pia Rotshtein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Complex figure copying is a commonly used neuropsychological test. Here we explored the neural basis of the factors underlying complex figure copying (CFC), using data from the Birmingham Cognitive Screen (BCoS) in a large group of sub-acute, ischemic stroke patients (239). We computed two analyses: in the first we assessed the contribution of co-morbid deficits (i.e. in gesture processing, object use, visual neglect, pictures naming and sustained attention) to the lesions associated with CFC. In a second analysis a Principle Component Analysis (PCA) was used to isolate different underlying task components and to link to clinical neuroimaging scans. A voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis showed that poor CFC performance was associated with lesions to bi-lateral thalamus, lingual, right fusiform and right inferior parietal cortices (rIPC). The latter association with the posterior parietal cortex was diminished after controlling for neglect. Follow up analysis showed the neglect partially mediated the correlation of CFC and rIPC. The PCA revealed three main underlying components: (1) a component associated with high-level motor control common to different measures of apraxia and linked to the left postcentral gyrus, the right thalamus and middle frontal gyrus; (2) a visuo-motor transformation component unique to the CFC and associated with lesions to the posterior occipital and sensory cortices; (3) a component associated with multistep object use tasks which was correlated with lesions to the left inferior frontal orbital gyrus, the right fusiform and cerebellum. Using clinical symptoms, cognitive profiles and lesion mapping we showed that beyond visual perception, CFC performance is supported by three functional networks: one for high-level motor control, a visuo-motor transformation component, and multistep object use network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-634
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Apraxia
  • CT
  • Constructional apraxia
  • Drawing
  • High-level motor control
  • Stroke
  • VBM
  • Visuo-motor transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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