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Nat Neurosci. 2005 Nov;8(11):1603-10. Epub 2005 Oct 23.

Neural basis and recovery of spatial attention deficits in spatial neglect.

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Department of Neurology, Washington University, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


The syndrome of spatial neglect is typically associated with focal injury to the temporoparietal or ventral frontal cortex. This syndrome shows spontaneous partial recovery, but the neural basis of both spatial neglect and its recovery is largely unknown. We show that spatial attention deficits in neglect (rightward bias and reorienting) after right frontal damage correlate with abnormal activation of structurally intact dorsal and ventral parietal regions that mediate related attentional operations in the normal brain. Furthermore, recovery of these attention deficits correlates with the restoration and rebalancing of activity within these regions. These results support a model of recovery based on the re-weighting of activity within a distributed neuronal architecture, and they show that behavioral deficits depend not only on structural changes at the locus of injury, but also on physiological changes in distant but functionally related brain areas.

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