A test of the integrity of the vestibular system: the subject, seated in a revolving chair, is rotated to the right 10 times with eyes closed; then with the arm held horizontal, the right index finger is brought in touch with the tip of the examiner's finger; the arm is then raised vertically and the subject is instructed to touch the examiner's finger on bringing the arm once more to the horizontal; if the vestibular apparatus is normal, the finger will be brought down several inches to the right of the examiner's finger; the reverse is true on rotation to the left. In cerebellar disease, a patient attempting to reach a point with the finger will overshoot it. The test is also used in connection with caloric stimulation. In some vestibular disorders, past-pointing occurs without rotation or caloric stimulation.
The inability to place a finger or some other part of the body accurately on a selected point; seen esp. in cerebellar disorders.
past-pointingA physical sign in disease of the CEREBELLUM in which, if the eyes are closed, a pointing finger overshoots its intended mark towards the side of the cerebellar damage.
Misjudging the location of an object and pointing too far in the same direction in which the object was displaced when presented monocularly in the direction of action of a recently paralysed extraocular muscle. Example: if the left lateral rectus is paralysed and the left eye attempts (the right eye being occluded) to look at an object to the left, that object will be thought to be located further to the side than it actually is, as shown, for example, by the patient pointing a finger. See localization; false projection; incomitant strabismus.