Utilization behavior is a disturbed response to external stimuli, a component of the environmental dependency syndrome, in which seeing an object implies that it should be used. Two forms of utilization behavior are described:
when an item is given to the patient or their attention is directed to it, e.g., handing them a pair of spectacles which they put on, followed by a second pair, which are put on over the first pair.
- Incidental or Spontaneous:
when the patient uses an object in their environment without their attention being specifically directed toward it.
Another element of the environmental dependency syndrome which coexists with utilization behavior is imitation behavior (e.g., echolalia, echopraxia). Primitive reflexes and hypermetamorphosis may also be observed.
Utilization behavior is associated with lesions of the frontal lobe, affecting the inferior medial area bilaterally. It has also been reported following paramedian thalamic infarction.
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