Characterising exploration behaviour in spatial neglect: omissions and perseverative search.

Olk, B. and Harvey, M. (2006) Characterising exploration behaviour in spatial neglect: omissions and perseverative search. Cognitive Brain Research(1118), pp. 106-115.

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In search tasks, patients with spatial neglect typically fail to respond to stimuli on the contralesional side. Such behavior has been associated with hyperattention to the ipsilesional side and a deficit in disengaging from attended stimuli. The present study investigated whether such explanations can also account for a further kind of behavior frequently shown by neglect patients: repetitive returns to previously indicated stimuli,\r\nparticularly on the ipsilesional side. A group of neglect patients was tested along with a group of healthy participants and a patient control group without neglect. Participants performed an exploration task in which they searched for targets defined by their shape or for all stimuli either with the aid of vision or blindfolded. The results showed differential effects of reducing the salience of visual stimuli by blindfolding. For a subgroup of patients, detection rate improved, while for others the percentage of omissions increased.\r\nHowever, contrary to the control groups, blindfolding had no effect on repetitive search in the neglect group, inconsistent with hyperattention, a disengage or impaired working memory deficits. The rate of repetitive returns to previously indicated locations did not\r\nseem to be associated with the percentage of omitted stimuli, suggesting that repetitive returns may be best explained by a disruption of systematic search and lack of volitional control in spatial neglect. The results further underline the importance of considering repetitive search behavior in addition to omissions in standard neglect assessments.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Harvey, Professor Monika
Authors: Olk, B., and Harvey, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Cognitive Brain Research

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