Cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis is reflected by increased susceptibility to the sound-induced flash illusion

  • Objective: To determine whether the performance of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in the sound-induced flash illusion (SiFi), a multisensory perceptual illusion, would reflect their cognitive impairment. Methods: We performed the SiFi task as well as an extensive neuropsychological testing in 95 subjects [39 patients with relapse-remitting MS (RRMS), 16 subjects with progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS) and 40 healthy control subjects (HC)]. Results: MS patients reported more frequently the multisensory SiFi than HC. In contrast, there were no group differences in the control conditions. Essentially, patients with progressive type of MS continued to perceive the illusion at stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA) that were more than three times longer than the SOA at which the illusion was already disrupted for healthy controls. Furthermore, MS patients' degree of cognitive impairment measured with a broad neuropsychological battery encompassing tests for memory, attention, executive functions, and fluency was predicted by their performance in the SiFi task for the longest SOA of 500 ms. Conclusions: These findings support the notion that MS patients exhibit an altered multisensory perception in the SiFi task and that their susceptibility to the perceptual illusion is negatively correlated with their neuropsychological test performance. Since MS lesions affect white matter tracts and cortical regions which seem to be involved in the transfer and processing of both crossmodal and cognitive information, this might be one possible explanation for our findings. SiFi might be considered as a brief, non-expensive, language- and education-independent screening test for cognitive deficits in MS patients.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Author:Yavor Yalachkov, Heinrich Johannes Bergmann, Dilara Soydaş, Christian Buschenlange, Laura Yasmine Fadai Motlagh, Marcus Johannes Naumer, Jochen KaiserORCiDGND, Stefan Frisch, Marion Behrens, Christian FörchORCiDGND, Johannes Gehrig
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in neurology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Place of publication:Lausanne
Contributor(s):Tjalf Ziemssen
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/04/12
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/05/06
Tag:cognitive deficits; multiple sclerosis; neuropsychological impairment; screening test; sound-induced flash illusion
Issue:Art. 373
Page Number:10
First Page:1
Last Page:10
Copyright © 2019 Yalachkov, Bergmann, Soydaş, Buschenlange, Fadai Motlagh, Naumer, Kaiser, Frisch, Behrens, Foerch and Gehrig. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0