Intra- and inter-task reliability of spatial attention measures in pseudoneglect

Learmonth, G., Gallagher, A., Gibson, J., Thut, G. and Harvey, M. (2015) Intra- and inter-task reliability of spatial attention measures in pseudoneglect. PLoS ONE, 10(9), e0138379. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138379) (PMID:26378925) (PMCID:PMC4574708)

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Healthy young adults display a leftward asymmetry of spatial attention (“pseudoneglect”) that has been measured with a wide range of different tasks. Yet at present there is a lack of systematic evidence that the tasks commonly used in research today are i) stable measures over time and ii) provide similar measures of spatial bias. Fifty right-handed young adults were tested on five tasks (manual line bisection, landmark, greyscales, gratingscales and lateralised visual detection) on two different days. All five tasks were found to be stable measures of bias over the two testing sessions, indicating that each is a reliable measure in itself. Surprisingly, no strongly significant inter-task correlations were found. However, principal component analysis revealed left-right asymmetries to be subdivided in 4 main components, namely asymmetries in size judgements (manual line bisection and landmark), luminance judgements (greyscales), stimulus detection (lateralised visual detection) and judgements of global/local features (manual line bisection and grating scales). The results align with recent research on hemispatial neglect which conceptualises the condition as multi-component rather than a single pathological deficit of spatial attention. We conclude that spatial biases in judgment of visual stimulus features in healthy adults (e.g., pseudoneglect) is also a multi-component phenomenon that may be captured by variations in task demands which engage task-dependent patterns of activation within the attention network.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Learmonth, Dr Gemma and Thut, Professor Gregor and Harvey, Professor Monika
Authors: Learmonth, G., Gallagher, A., Gibson, J., Thut, G., and Harvey, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:PLoS ONE
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1932-6203
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Learmonth et al.
First Published:First published in PLoS ONE 10(9):e0138379
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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