Residual oculomotor and exploratory deficits in patients with recovered hemineglect

Pflugshaupt, Tobias; Bopp, Stefanie Almoslöchner; Heinemann, Dörthe; Mosimann, Urs P; von Wartburg, Roman; Nyffeler, Thomas; Hess, Christian W; Müri, René M (2004). Residual oculomotor and exploratory deficits in patients with recovered hemineglect. Neuropsychologia, 42(9), pp. 1203-11. Oxford: Elsevier 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2004.02.002

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Several studies on hemineglect have reported that patients recover remarkably well when assessed with neuropsychological screening tests, however, they show deficits on novel or complex tasks. We investigated whether such deficits can be revealed with eye movement analysis, applying two basic oculomotor tasks as well as two exploratory tasks. Eye movements were recorded in eight hemineglect patients at least eleven months after right-hemisphere brain damage had occurred. Sixteen healthy volunteers participated in the control group. Regarding the basic oculomotor tasks, only the overlap task revealed residual deficits in patients, suggesting that a directional deficit in disengaging attention persisted during recovery. Further residual deficits were evident in the exploratory tasks. When everyday scenes were explored, patients showed a bias in early orienting towards the ipsilateral hemispace. In a search task, they demonstrated the same orienting bias as well as a non-directional deficit concerning search times. Moreover, patients preferentially fixated in the contralateral hemispace, but did not benefit from this asymmetry in terms of search times, i.e. they did not detect contralateral targets faster than ipsilateral ones. This suggests a dissociation between oculomotor processes and attentional ones. In conclusion, we have identified behavioural aspects that seem to recover slower than others. A disengagement deficit and biases in early orienting have been the most pronounced residual oculomotor deficits.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Nyffeler, Thomas and Hess, Christian Walter










Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:05

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:20

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URI: (FactScience: 120731)

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