A critical review of closing-in

Elisabetta Ambron, Sergio Della Sala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When performing complex actions, like graphic copying or imitation of gestures, some patients may perform these actions very close to, or directly on the top of the model. This peculiar behavior, known as closing-in, is the focus of the present literature review, which will provide a critical picture of the research in this field, highlighting the difficulties in defining and assessing closing-in and the contrasting results about the nature and the characteristics of this phenomenon. Most importantly, we will discuss the 2 hypotheses proposed to explain closing-in, namely the compensation and the attraction account, in light of the most recent work. This critical review will provide substantial evidence that closing-in represent a primitive default tendency in which movements are attracted toward the focus of attention. On the other hand, the possibility that this interpretation might not be fully exhaustive and that different components of closing-in might exist will also be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2017


  • closing-in behaviour
  • constructional apraxia
  • attention
  • memory
  • dementia
  • brain lesion


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