Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Visual-Spatial Ability

  • Farzin IraniEmail author
  • Celita J. Owens
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1418

Synonyms

Spatial processing; Visuospatial ability

Definition

Visuospatial ability is a component of visual perception that enables processing of the visual orientation or location of objects in space. The visuospatial or “where” system is functionally and neuroanatomically distinct from the visuoperceptual “what” system. Visuospatial information is processed by a “dorsal streamoccipito-parietal pathway, while a “ventral stream” occipito-temporal processes visuoperceptual information (Ungerleider and Mishkin 1982). Specifically, the visuospatial system gets input from “type M” retinal ganglion cells which project to the ventral layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus followed by superior occipital and parietal projections. Impairments in visuospatial abilities can result in deficits in visuospatial judgment, visual neglect, topographic disorientation, and Balint’s syndrome (Capruso et al. 2006).

Historical Background

Dr. Arthur Benton credits an early case report by Dr. Badal in 1888...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. Benton, A. (1979). Visuoperceptive, visuospatial and visuoconstructive disorders. In K. M. Heilman & E. Valenstein (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Benton, A., Varney, N., & Hamsher, K. (1978). Visuospatial judgment. A clinical test. Archives of Neurology, 35(6), 364–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Capruso, D. X., Hamsher, K., & Benton, A. L. (2006). Clinical evaluation of visual perception and constructional ability. In P. J. Snyder, P. Nussbaum, & D. Robins (Eds.), Clinical neuropsychology - A pocket handbook for assessment (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  4. Cazzoli, D., Rosenthal, C. R., Kennard, C., Zito, G. A., Hopfner, S., Müri, R. M., & Nyffeler, T. (2015). Theta burst stimulation improves overt visual search in spatial neglect independently of attentional load. Cortex: A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior, 73, 317–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chechlacz, M., Rotshtein, P., & Humphreys, G. W. (2012). Neuroanatomical dissections of unilateral visual neglect symptoms: ALE meta-analysis of lesion-symptom mapping. Frontiers In Human Neuroscience, 6, 230.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2012.00230.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Descloux, V., & Maurer, R. (2016). Assessing mental imagery to evaluate topographical disorientation: Group study and preliminary normative data. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, 23(1), 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Fordell, H., Bodin, K., Bucht, G., & Malm, J. (2011). A virtual reality test battery for assessment and screening of spatial neglect. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 123(3), 167–174.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Gauthier, L., Dehaut, F., & Joanette, Y. (1989). The Bells test: A quantitative and qualitative test for visual neglect. International Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology, 11, 49–54.Google Scholar
  9. Holmes, G. (1918). Disturbances of visual orientation. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 2(10), 506–516.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Leifert-Fiebach, G., Welfringer, A., Babinsky, R., & Brandt, T. (2013). Motor imagery training in patients with chronic neglect: A pilot study. Neurorehabilitation, 32(1), 43–58.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. Lezak, M. D., Howieson, D. B., & Loring, D. W. (Eds.). (2004). Neuropsychological assessment (4th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Mégevand, P., Groppe, D. M., Goldfinger, M. S., Hwang, S. T., Kingsley, P. B., Davidesco, I., & Mehta, A. D. (2014). Seeing scenes: Topographic visual hallucinations evoked by direct electrical stimulation of the parahippocampal place area. The Journal of Neuroscience, 34(16), 5399–5405.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. Molenberghs, P., Sale, M. V., & Mattingley, J. B. (2012). Is there a critical lesion site for unilateral spatial neglect? A meta-analysis using activation likelihood estimation. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 78.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2012.00078.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Schenkenberg, T., Bradford, D. C., & Ajax, E. T. (1980). Line bisection and unilateral visual neglect in patients with neurologic impairment. Neurology, 30(5), 509–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ungerleider, L. G., & Mishkin, M. (1982). Two cortical visual systems. In D. J. Ingle, M. A. Goodale, & R. J. Mansfield (Eds.), Analysis of visual behavior (pp. 549–586). Cambridge: MIT press.Google Scholar
  16. Victor, M., & Ropper, A. H. (Eds.). (2001). Principles of neurology (7th ed.). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies.Google Scholar
  17. Wansard, M., Geurten, M., Colson, C., & Meulemans, T. (2016). Implicit learning: A way to improve visual search in spatial neglect? Consciousness and Cognition: An International Journal, 43, 102–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Wilson, B., Cockburn, J., & Halligan, P. (1987). Development of a behavioral test of visuospatial neglect. Archives of Physical Medicine Rehabilitation, 68(2), 98–102.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentWest Chester University of PennsylvaniaWest ChesterUSA
  2. 2.Immaculata UniversityImmaculataUSA