Improvement of left visuo-spatial hemineglect by left-sided transcutaneous electrical stimulation

G. Vallar, M. L. Rusconi, S. Barozzi, B. Bernardini, D. Ovadia, C. Papagno, A. Cesarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of transcutaneous electrical stimulation on left visuo-spatial hemineglect, assessed by a visuo-motor exploratory task (letter cancellation), were investigated in patients with right hemisphere lesions. In Experiment 1 left neck stimulation temporarily improved the deficit in 13 out of 14 patients (93%), while stimulation of the right neck had no positive effects, worsening exploratory performance in nine patients (64%). Experiment 2 showed that left neck stimulation temporarily improved neglect also when head movements were prevented by a chin-rest. In Experiment 3, stimulation of both the left hand and left neck had comparable positive effects on visuo-spatial hemineglect. These results are interpreted in terms of: (1) non-specific activation of the right hemisphere, contralateral to the stimulation side; (2) specific directional effects of left somatosensory stimulation on the egocentric co-ordinates of extra-personal space, which in neglect patients are distorted towards the side of the brain lesion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1995

Keywords

  • spatial hemineglect
  • transcutaneous electrical stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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