Selective visual neglect in right brain damaged patients with splenial interhemispheric disconnection

Francesco Tomaiuolo, Loredana Voci, Marco Bresci, Sabino Cozza, Federico Posteraro, Martina Oliva, Fabrizio Doricchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Left unilateral neglect is frequently reported after right hemispheric lesions of the middle cerebral artery (MCA) damaging the parietal-frontal cortical-subcortical network subserving space representation and awareness. However, accumulating evidence shows that neglect can also follow lesions of the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) that do not directly affect this parietal-frontal network. Surgical studies in the monkeys have demonstrated that complete callosal resection combined with lesion of the right optic tract entirely deprives the right hemisphere of visual inputs from the left hemispace provoking severe left unilateral neglect. Here, through the detailed study of two patients we show, for the first time, that PCA lesions selectively affecting the splenium of the corpus callosum and the adjacent right primary visual cortex provoke severe neglect selectively restricted to the visual domain. No trace of personal, motor or representational-imagery neglect was found. Also at variance with previous case studies in which neglect followed lesion of the trunk or the genu of the corpus callosum, no restriction of neglect to tasks performed with the right hand, no left hemispatial limb akinesia, no tactile extinction for the left hand and no tactile anomia for stimuli explored with the left hand were observed. These findings demonstrate that brain lesions depriving intact parietal and frontal attentional areas from specific sensory inputs can yield spatial neglect limited to specific sensory modalities or sectors of space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-217
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Attention
  • Callosal commisurotomy
  • Corpus callosum
  • Posterior cerebral artery
  • Spatial neglect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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