Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Visual-Spatial Ability

  • Farzin IraniEmail author
  • Celita J. Owens
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1418


Spatial processing; Visuospatial ability


Visuospatial ability is a component of visual perception that enables processing of the visual orientation or location of objects in space. The visuospatial or “where” system is functionally and neuroanatomically distinct from the visuoperceptual “what” system. Visuospatial information is processed by a “dorsal streamoccipito-parietal pathway, while a “ventral stream” occipito-temporal processes visuoperceptual information (Ungerleider and Mishkin 1982). Specifically, the visuospatial system gets input from “type M” retinal ganglion cells which project to the ventral layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus followed by superior occipital and parietal projections. Impairments in visuospatial abilities can result in deficits in visuospatial judgment, visual neglect, topographic disorientation, and Balint’s syndrome (Capruso et al. 2006).

Historical Background

Dr. Arthur Benton credits an early case report by Dr. Badal in 1888...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentWest Chester University of PennsylvaniaWest ChesterUSA
  2. 2.Immaculata UniversityImmaculataUSA