Influence of the radial and vertical dimensions on lateral neglect
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The influence of radial (near-far) and vertical (upper-lower) dimensions on lateral visuo-spatial neglect was studied using two horizontal line-bisection tasks (one motor and one perceptual). A group of 15 patients with neglect and a group of 14 right-brain damaged patients without neglect were examined. This latter group was used to define the range of variability in line-bisection performance that was independent of neglect. For the radial dimension, some neglect patients showed greater errors in far space than in near space (for both stimuli presented in the upper and lower space). Fewer patients showed the opposite pattern (i.e., greater errors for near-space stimuli). These near-far asymmetries were present for both the motor and perceptual conditions and showed a good degree of intra-individual consistency. This finding contradicts the hypothesis that the motor component is critical for yielding such asymmetry. For the vertical dimension, the results indicated that neglect patients make more bisection errors for lower-space stimuli than for upper-space stimuli. This vertical asymmetry was nearly always confined to stimuli in near space. Asymmetries along the vertical dimension were present for both perceptual and motor conditions, although intra-individual consistency was low. When perceptual and motor conditions were directly compared, several neglect patients showed greater errors in the perceptual than in the motor task.
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