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Cortex. 2008 Oct;44(9):1215-20. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2006.02.002. Epub 2008 Jan 30.

Dissociation between egocentric and allocentric visuospatial and tactile neglect in acute stroke.

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Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Previous investigations provide evidence for distinction between egocentric (viewer-centered) and allocentric (stimulus- or object-centered) hemispatial neglect. However, it has not been determined whether this dissociation is modality-independent or modality-specific. We identify the incidence of egocentric and allocentric neglect in visual and tactile modalities, as well as the frequency of their co-occurrences in each modality. One-hundred patients with acute, right supratentorial ischemic stroke were administered tests for egocentric and allocentric hemispatial neglect in visual (n=98) and tactile (n=58) modalities. The visual test consisted of a page of 30 circles; 10 with no gap, 10 with a gap on the right side, and 10 with a gap on the left. Patients were asked to circle all complete circles and cross out all circles with gaps. A tactile version consisted of the same stimulus types presented as raised circles. Patients were asked to explore the board of circles with their dominant hand and report whether each circle had a gap. To determine the presence of egocentric or allocentric neglect, each test was analyzed for a significantly higher number of errors on the contralesional versus ipsilesional side of the page/board, or of the stimulus, using the Chi square analysis. On the visual test, 17 patients exhibited egocentric neglect; four exhibited allocentric neglect; and only two exhibited both. In the tactile modality, 19 exhibited egocentric neglect; one exhibited allocentric neglect; and none demonstrated both. Only four patients showed egocentric neglect on both visual and tactile tests. We found one patient with bilateral lesions who showed left egocentric visual neglect and right allocentric tactile neglect. These data provide strong evidence that egocentric and allocentric neglect are distinct syndromes that often dissociate and likely reflect damage to different brain areas. They also show that selective egocentric or allocentric neglect can occur in visual or tactile modalities.

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