Landmark based navigation in brain-damaged patients with neglect

D. Nico, L. Piccardi, G. Iaria, F. Bianchini, L. Zompanti, C. Guariglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We tested navigational abilities of brain-damaged patients suffering from representational or perceptual neglect asking them to retrieve a location according to salient spatial cues included in a rectangular empty room. Both groups of patients showed difficulties in learning the spatial definition of the target location in relation to two landmarks. However in a delayed attempt performed after several trials the group of patients with perceptual neglect proved able to easily retrieve the target location. In this condition they performed as controls showing a spared ability to navigate according to a stable representation of the room in long-term memory. In contrast the difficulty of patients with representational neglect remained unchanged across experimental conditions. At variance with clinical assessment, in which patients show asymmetrical performances in describing a well-known environment from memory, this latter result depicts a behavioural counterpart of the disorder, namely the inability to orient in a new environment according to an inner representation. Data are further discussed in order to provide a description of the cognitive mechanisms required for space representation for navigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1898-1907
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • Cognitive map
  • Environmental exploration
  • Orientation
  • Representational neglect
  • Space representation
  • Spatial references
  • Visuo-spatial hemineglect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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