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J Exp Psychol Gen. 1999 Dec;128(4):450-78.

Systematic analysis of deficits in visual attention.

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Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


A variety of impairments in visual attention can follow damage to the brain. The authors develop systematic methods for analyzing such impairments in terms of C. Bundesen's (1990) Theory of Visual Attention and apply these in a group of 9 patients with parietal lobe lesions and variable spatial neglect. In whole report, patients report letters from brief, vertical arrays in left or right visual field. The results show substantial, largely bilateral impairments in processing capacity, implying a major nonlateralized aspect to neglect. In partial report, arrays contain 1 or 2 letters in red and/or green. The task is to report only those letters in a specified target color. In addition to the expected bias against left-sided letters, patients show striking, bilateral preservation of top-down control, or attentional priority for targets. The results show how differentiation of attentional impairments can be informed by a theory of normal function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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