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Clinical Trial
, 38 (3), 283-91

Divided Visuo-Spatial Attention Systems With Total and Anterior Callosotomy

Clinical Trial

Divided Visuo-Spatial Attention Systems With Total and Anterior Callosotomy

M Arguin et al. Neuropsychologia.


The role of the corpus callosum in the inter-hemispheric integration of the visuo-spatial attention system, was investigated in patients with a total callosotomy or with an anterior callosal section. Subjects produced simple reaction times (RTs) to visual targets shown to the left or right visual hemifield. Preceding the target by an interval of 500 ms, arrow cues predicting the target location were shown left and right of the point of ocular fixation. For a majority of total and anterior callosotomy patients, results with valid focused cues (both arrows pointing to the target location) and with divided-attention cues (arrows pointing away from fixation) did not differ and both conditions produced shorter RTs than with neutral cues (equal signs). In contrast, neurologically intact subjects showed equal RTs with divided-attention and neutral cues, whereas valid focused cues produced reduced RTs relative to neutral cues. These results indicate that most split-brains, in contrast to normal observers, are capable of directing their attention to left and right visual field locations simultaneously, and therefore that each cerebral hemisphere controls its own visuo-spatial attention mechanism.

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