Pre-motor deficits in left spatial neglect: An EEG study on Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) and response-related beta oscillatory activity

Stefano Lasaponara, Mario Pinto, Gabriele Scozia, Michele Pellegrino, Marianna D'Onofrio, Roberto Isabella, Fabrizio Doricchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Right Brain Damaged patients with left spatial neglect (N+), are characterised by poor allocation of attention in the contralesional left side of space. In a recent study (Lasaponara et al., 2018) we showed during orienting of spatial attention with endogenous central cues, both the EEG markers reflecting the early phases of orienting (Early Directing Attention Negativity) and those reflecting the late setting-up of sensory facilitation in the visual cortex (Late Directing Attention Positivity) are disturbed in N+ when these patients attend the left side of space. In the healthy brain, endogenous cues also elicit EEG activity related to the preparation of manual responses to upcoming spatial targets. Here, we wished to expand on our previous findings and investigate the EEG correlates of cue-related response preparation in N+ patients. To this aim we investigated the Contingent Negative Variation (CNV) response and the pre-motor Beta-oscillatory activity evoked by spatially informative central cues during the performance of a Posner task. Due to concomitant contralesional motor impairments, N+ an N- patients performed the task only with the ipsilesional right-hand. Compared to healthy controls and patients without neglect, N+ displayed a pathological suppression of CNV component that was independent of cue direction. In addition, the amplitude of the CNV in response to right-pointing cues was positively correlated with neglect severity in line bisection. N+ also displayed a pathological enhancement of pre-motor Beta oscillations over the left hemisphere during the time period that preceded manual responses to targets in the left side of space, particularly to invalidly cued ones. Synchronization in the Beta-band (ERS) was also correlated with lower detection rate and slower RTs to Invalid targets in the left side of space. These results provide new insights on the premotor components of the spatial orienting deficits suffered by patients with left spatial neglect and can help improving its diagnosis and rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107572
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Attention
  • Beta-band
  • CNV
  • ERPs
  • Spatial neglect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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