The subcortical anatomy of human spatial neglect: putamen, caudate nucleus and pulvinar

Brain. 2002 Feb;125(Pt 2):350-60. doi: 10.1093/brain/awf032.


Various studies have documented that right hemispheric lesions restricted to the basal ganglia or to the thalamus may evoke spatial neglect. However, for methodological reasons, the exact anatomical correlate of spatial neglect within these two subcortical structures still remained uncertain. The present study identified these locations by comparing the anatomy of subcortical lesions to the basal ganglia or thalamus between neglect and control patients. Analysis revealed that the putamen, the pulvinar and, to a smaller degree, the caudate nucleus are the subcortical structures typically associated with spatial neglect in humans. All these structures have direct anatomical connections to the superior temporal gyrus (STG), which recently has been identified as the neural correlate of spatial neglect in the human cortex. Therefore, it is assumed that the right putamen, caudate nucleus, pulvinar and STG form a coherent corticosubcortical anatomical network in the genesis of spatial neglect in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caudate Nucleus / pathology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Perceptual Disorders / pathology*
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology
  • Pulvinar / pathology*
  • Putamen / pathology*
  • Spatial Behavior*
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed