Laterally directed arm movements and right unilateral neglect after left hemisphere damage

Paolo Bartolomeo, Sylvie Chokron, Guido Gainotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Signs of unilateral neglect for events occurring in one hemispace most often result from right hemisphere lesions. Right unilateral neglect after left hemisphere damage is much rarer, and has received less attention. The present study explores the relationships between right unilateral neglect and asymmetries in producing laterally directed arm movements in the horizontal plane in left brain-damaged (LBD) patients. Participants produced right- or left-directed arm movements with their left arm in response to centrally located visual stimuli. Results showed that LBD patients with signs of right unilateral neglect were consistently slowed when producing arm movements toward the right (neglected) side, as compared to left-directed movements. Taking into account patients with and without signs of neglect, this directional asymmetry positively correlated with a reaction-time measure of perceptual spatial bias. These findings stand in contrast with previous results obtained with the same experimental paradigm in right brain-damaged patients, in whom a consistent slowing of leftward-directed movements was rare and apparently unrelated to the presence and severity of left neglect. These conflicting results are discussed with respect to the hypothesis that different mechanisms may underlie left and right unilateral neglect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1013-1021
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume39
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2001

Keywords

  • Brain damage
  • Directional hypokinesia
  • Reaction time
  • Unilateral neglect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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