Spatial summation across the vertical meridian in hemianopics: A test of blindsight

C. A. Marzi, G. Tassinari, S. Aglioti, L. Lutzemberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Twenty hemianopic patients with retrochiasmatic lesions have been tested for spatial summation of pairs of flashes simultaneously presented either to the same hemifield or to opposite hemifields across the vertical meridian. In such a task normal subjects show summation, i.e. a faster reaction time in response to a pair of stimuli than in response to a single stimulus. Such an effect is present both for pairs of stimuli presented within the same hemifield and for pairs of stimuli in which the two flashes are presented one in the right and the other in the left hemifield. In contrast to normals, hemianopics as a group did not show interfield summation although, like normals, showed summation within one hemifield. A single-case analysis, however, revealed that in one patient there was a reliable overall interfield summation and that in three others there was evidence of summation in at least one testing session. The presence of interfield spatial summation between the normal and the affected hemifield of hemianopics thus provides further evidence of blindsight in a task paradigm in which guessing strategies and stimulus artefacts can be eliminated. The very small proportion of patients showing blindsight can be in part related to the relatively low stimulus intensity and the very brief stimulus exposure duration used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)749-758
Number of pages10
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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