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Ineffective leftward search in line bisection and mechanisms of left unilateral spatial neglect

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We examined the eye-fixation pattern of a patient with severe left unilateral spatial neglect who showed leftward searches of various extent in more than half of line bisection trials. Because of complete left homonymous hemianopia, he perceived only the segment of the line between its right endpoint and the point of the leftmost fixation. In the trials with leftward searches, he frequently placed the subjective midpoint on the right part of the perceived segment. In the trials without leftward searches, he placed it near the left extreme point of the perceived segment. For all these bisections, the subjective midpoint was constantly placed far to the right of the true midpoint of the line irrespective of the length perceived. We consider that in severe left unilateral spatial neglect, rightward attentional bias is the predominant factor that determines where to place the subjective midpoint. Transient attentional shift to the left may produce leftward searches, but it does not induce effective processing of line bisection.

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Correspondence to Sumio Ishiai.

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Ishiai, S., Seki, K., Koyama, Y. et al. Ineffective leftward search in line bisection and mechanisms of left unilateral spatial neglect. J Neurol 243, 381–387 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00868996

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Key words

  • Unilateral spatial neglect
  • Line bisection test
  • Leftward search
  • Attention