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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 27 (2013), Issue 3, Pages 245-257

Task- and Response Related Dissociations between Neglect in Near and Far Space: A Morphometric Case Study

Lina Aimola,1 Igor Schindler,2 and Annalena Venneri3

1Cognitive Neuroscience Research Unit, University of Durham, Durham, UK
2Clinical Neuroscience Centre, University of Hull, Hull, UK
3Department of Neuroscience, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospital, Sheffield, UK and San Camillo Hospital, Venice, Italy

Received 5 March 2012; Accepted 5 March 2012

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction: Patients with unilateral neglect may show line bisection errors selectively in either near (within hand reaching) or far (beyond hand reaching) space which suggests that these two spatial areas are coded differently by the brain. This exploratory study investigated, whether any difference in performance between these spatial domains might be task-independent or modulated by the requirement for a motor response.

Methods: A 31-year-old right brain damaged patient (MF) and a group of age matched healthy controls were assessed with two serial visual search tasks and a Landmark paradigm. Both types of task required either a directional (pointing) or non-directional (button press) motor response. Participants were assessed with both task types and response modes in near (57 cm) and far space (114 cm).

Results: MF showed left neglect during visual search only in far space for the perceptual condition and in near space for the motor condition. MF showed no neglect in both versions of the Landmark task irrespective of spatial distance. A voxel-based morphometric assessment of MF's brain lesion showed marked damage in the right ventro-temporal cortex, superior temporal gyrus, insula, inferior frontal gyrus, angular gyrus and bilaterally in the posterior cingulate cortex.

Conclusions: Our preliminary findings suggest that processing of far space during visual search is associated with ventral stream damage but only when space is coded through visual information. Neglect involving directional motor activity in near space seems to be associated with damage of structures sharing close connections with the dorsal stream.