Neural basis and recovery of spatial attention deficits in spatial neglect

Nat Neurosci. 2005 Nov;8(11):1603-10. doi: 10.1038/nn1574. Epub 2005 Oct 23.


The syndrome of spatial neglect is typically associated with focal injury to the temporoparietal or ventral frontal cortex. This syndrome shows spontaneous partial recovery, but the neural basis of both spatial neglect and its recovery is largely unknown. We show that spatial attention deficits in neglect (rightward bias and reorienting) after right frontal damage correlate with abnormal activation of structurally intact dorsal and ventral parietal regions that mediate related attentional operations in the normal brain. Furthermore, recovery of these attention deficits correlates with the restoration and rebalancing of activity within these regions. These results support a model of recovery based on the re-weighting of activity within a distributed neuronal architecture, and they show that behavioral deficits depend not only on structural changes at the locus of injury, but also on physiological changes in distant but functionally related brain areas.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / blood supply
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Perceptual Disorders / pathology*
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Space Perception / physiology*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Fields / physiology


  • Oxygen