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Visual size processing in spatial neglect

Milner, A.D., Harvey, M., and Pritchard, C.L. (1998) Visual size processing in spatial neglect. Experimental Brain Research, 123 (1&2). pp. 192-200.

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Abstract

Evidence from the use of the landmark task and from two size-matching tasks shows that many patients with left-sided neglect systematically under-perceive visual extent in leftward parts of space. This perceptual distortion of size serves to explain the occurrence of rightward line-bisection errors in most neglect patients. One possibility is that attentional biases of a chronic nature might underlie these perceptual changes seen in neglect patients. But contrary to this idea, we have found that attentional cueing in the landmark task causes changes in neglect patients exactly opposite to those seen in healthy subjects. The distortions of size perception seen in neglect could instead be caused by a high-level alteration of visual processing rather than by an attentional bias. In order to explore which visual stream of cortical processing might be compromised in such a disorder, we have begun to examine neglect patients on visuomotor as well as perceptual tasks. We have found clear evidence in one patient for intact grip scaling for object size in the neglected half of space, despite gross perceptual underestimations of the same objects. This result suggests that neglect can occur without major disruption of the dorsal stream, and may result instead from damage to a cortical system whose predominant visual input comes from the ventral stream.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Harvey, Dr Monika
Authors: Milner, A.D., Harvey, M., and Pritchard, C.L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Experimental Brain Research

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