Impaired Visual Search in Patients with Unilateral Neglect: An Oculographic Analysis
journal contributionposted on 01.01.1997 by Marlene Behrmann, S. Watt, S. E. Black, J. J. S. Barton
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The attentional deficit underlying hemispatial neglect was examined through a detailed analysis of the eye movement performance of a group of neglect patients. Relative to normal subjects and to patients with hemianopia without neglect, patients with left neglect make fewer fixations and have shorter inspection time on the contralesional left side. They also start their search to the right of the midline and make significantly more fixations and longer fixations on the ipsilesional right side. A positive linear relationship between horizontal location and frequency of fixations was noted for the neglect group as a whole, as well as for most of the individual patients. These findings strongly endorse the view that the attentional deficit in neglect follows a left right gradient. The peak of the maximum fixations, however, is not on the extreme right, as might be predicted by a strict gradient account, and is more consistent with recent views that the midsagittal plane of the viewer is redirected rightwards. These findings provide a detailed analysis of the eye movement patterns in neglect patients and demonstrate the robustness of oculographic analysis for examining their altered spatial representation. © 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd