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Neuroimage. 2001 Jul;14(1 Pt 2):S85-90.

Do we need the "lateral" in unilateral neglect? Spatially nonselective attention deficits in unilateral neglect and their implications for rehabilitation.

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Department of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland.


This paper reviews evidence that the spatial imbalance of attention by which unilateral neglect is often defined is a necessary but not sufficient factor in the persistence of this disorder. A second, nonspatially lateralized loss of attentional capacity is required to coexist with the spatial bias for the disorder to persist in a clinically significant way, it is argued. To this end, I first review evidence from visual and auditory attention studies to show that unilateral neglect is very strongly associated with a fundamental loss of attentional capacity that is not confined to one region of space. Second, I attempt to characterize the nature of this attentional capacity in relation in particular to functional brain imaging studies of attention. Third, I demonstrate that the spatial imbalance in neglect can be reduced by manipulations of the nonlateralized attentional capacity and finish by reviewing the rehabilitation implications of these manipulations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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