Akinetopsia, also known as cerebral akinetopsia or motion blindness, is an extremely rare neuropsychological disorder in which a patient cannot perceive motion in their visual field, despite being able to see stationary objects without issue. For patients with akinetopsia, the world becomes devoid of motion. Most of what is known about akinetopsia was learned through the case study of one patient, LM. There is currently no effective treatment or cure for akinetopsia.
Akinetopsia is the inability to see motion despite normal spatial acuity, flicker detection, stereo and color vision. Other intact functions include visual space perception and visual identification of shapes, objects, and faces. Besides simple perception, akinetopsia also disturbs visuomotor tasks, such as reaching for objects and catching objects. When doing tasks, feedback of one’s own motion appears to be important.
Patients with akinetopsia struggle with many issues in their day-to-day life, depending on the severity of their condition. One patient, LM, described pouring a cup of tea or coffee difficult “because the fluid appeared to be frozen, like a glacier”. She did not know when to stop pouring, because she could not perceive the movement of the fluid rising. LM and other patients have also complained of having trouble following conversations, because lip movements and changing facial expressions were missed. LM stated she felt insecure when more than two people were walking around in a room: “people were suddenly here or there but I have not seen them moving”. Movement is inferred by comparing the change in position of an object or person. LM and others have described crossing the street and driving cars to also be of great difficulty. LM started to train her hearing to estimate distance. [wiki]