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Residual perceptual distortion in 'recovered' hemispatial neglect

Harvey, M., and Milner, A.D. (1999) Residual perceptual distortion in 'recovered' hemispatial neglect. Neuropsychologia, 37 (6). pp. 745-750. ISSN 0028-3932

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Abstract

In most neglect patients, line bisection errors become smaller on repeated tests over the months following the lesion. We have tried to determine in two typical patients whether this is because of a real reduction in the perceptual distortions that appear to underlie line bisection errors in neglect, or whether it reflects a learned behavioural strategy to counteract those perceptual biases. We tested the patients on two occasions (2 and 12 months post-stroke), on line bisection and also on the 'Landmark' task. The data indicated that at the first testing session both patients showed strong 'perceptual' neglect, making large rightward errors in the standard bisection task and uniformly leftward pointing in the Landmark task. On the second occasion, as expected, both patients showed a marked recovery when tested with the line bisection task, making only very small errors. In contrast, their landmark performance was still markedly biased in the same direction as before. These findings suggest that despite their apparent recovery on the bisection task, both patients still experience some form of perceptual distortion of horizontal lines. It is suggested that the Landmark task may provide a sensitive means for identifying real recovery of the underlying perceptual deficit.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):Harvey, Dr Monika
Authors: Harvey, M., and Milner, A.D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Neuropsychologia
Publisher:Pergamon
ISSN:0028-3932
ISSN (Online):1873-3514

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