Mental time travel and functional daily life activities in neglect patients: Recovery effects of rehabilitation by prism adaptation

Filomena Anelli, Stefano Avanzi, Alessio Damora, Mauro Mancuso, Francesca Frassinetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent neuropsychological evidence put forward impaired ability in processing particular aspects of time, such as Mental Time Travel (MTT), in brain damaged patients exhibiting a deficit of spatial attention (i.e., neglect) and the possibility to recover this MTT deficit through a manipulation of spatial attention by prism adaptation (PA). The aim of the present study was twofold. First, we explored whether the neglect patients’ impairment in MTT is linked with an impairment in functional competences, such as processing temporal duration of everyday activities, motor abilities and independence in daily living. Second, we focused on rehabilitation, investigating the long-term duration of the benefits induced by a PA treatment on both mental time travel and the above-mentioned functional abilities. To these aims, neglect patients were submitted to a MTT task, as well as to a battery of tests assessing spatial attention, estimation of time duration, motor competence and independence in activities of daily living. All tests were performed before, at the end, and one week after 10 daily sessions of PA treatment inducing a leftward shift of spatial attention. Results suggest that neglect patients’ impairment in MTT ability correlates with spatial attention deficit and with difficulties in producing reasonable temporal estimation of daily life activities. Crucially, the PA treatment induces a long-lasting and stable amelioration of MTT, spatial attention and functional competences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-155
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Mental time travel
  • Neglect rehabilitation
  • Prism adaptation
  • Spatial attention
  • Temporal deficits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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