Visuomotor processing in unilateral neglect

Consciousness and Cognition 7 (3):381-409 (1998)
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Abstract

The extent to which visual information on the contralateral, unattended side influences the performance of patients with hemispatial neglect was studied in a visuomotor reaching task. We replicated the well-established finding that, relative to target-alone trials, normal subjects are slower to reach to targets in the presence of visual distractors which appear either ipsilateral or contralateral to the target, with greater interference in the former condition. Six patients with hemispatial neglect showed even greater interference than did the normal subjects when the distractor appeared ipsilaterally but showed no significant interference from contralateral distractors. This pattern of performance was qualitatively similar for patients with lesions restricted to posterior regions and for patients with more extensive lesions involving both posterior and anterior brain regions. These findings suggest that, in the visuomotor domain, information on the contralateral side is processed minimally, if at all, in patients with hemispatial neglect.

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