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The influence of visual field disorders on visual identification tasks

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Visual identification of shapes, figures, objects and faces was tested in a group of 26 patients with homonymous field defects due to unilateral “posterior” brain damage. In addition, a search test was used for evaluation of the effect of visual field loss on visual information acquisition. Of the patients, 5 performed entirely normally, i.e. errorless and within age-matched time limits, in all tests. The majority of patients (n = 15) also performed correctly but required significantly more time than normals. In contrast, 6 patients showed a rather specific impairment in visual identification tasks. It is argued that visual field loss per se does not impair visual identification but may affect visual search and, thus, information acquisition. Visual identification may be impaired, however, if brain damage involves the inferotemporal cortex.

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Correspondence to J. Zihl.

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Zihl, J., Wohlfarth-Englert, A. The influence of visual field disorders on visual identification tasks. Eur Arch Psychiatr Neurol Sci 236, 61–64 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00641061

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Key words

  • Object recognition
  • Visual field defects
  • Visual search