Ipsilesional impairments of visual awareness after right-hemispheric stroke

Mario Bonato, Zaira Romeo, Elvio Blini, Marco Pitteri, Eugenia Durgoni, Laura Passarini, Francesca Meneghello, Marco Zorzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Unilateral brain damage following stroke frequently hampers the processing of contralesional space. Whether and how it also affects the processing of stimuli appearing on the same side of the lesion is still poorly understood. Three main alternative hypotheses have been proposed, namely that ipsilesional processing is functionally (i) hyperefficient, (ii) impaired, or (iii) spared. Here, we investigated ipsilesional space awareness through a computerized paradigm that exploits a manipulation of concurrent information processing demands (i.e., multitasking). Twelve chronic right-hemisphere stroke patients with a total lack of awareness for the contralesional side of space were administered a task that required the spatial monitoring of two locations within the ipsilesional hemispace. Targets were presented immediately to the right of a central fixation point (3 ° eccentricity), or farther to the right toward the screen edge (17 ° eccentricity), or on both locations. Response to target position occurred either in isolation or while performing a concurrent visual or auditory task. Results showed that most errors occurred when two targets were simultaneously presented and patients were faced with additional task demands (in the visual or auditory modalities). In the context of concurrent visual load, ipsilesional targets presented at the rightmost location were omitted more frequently than those presented closer to fixation. This pattern qualifies ipsilesional processing in right-hemisphere stroke patients as functionally impaired, arguing against the notion of ipsilesional hyperperformance, especially when under visual load.

Original languageEnglish
Article number697
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume10
Issue numberAPR
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Consciousness
  • Hemianopia
  • Ipsilesional
  • Neglect
  • Spatial awareness
  • Spatial processing
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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