Unconscious processing of Arabic numerals in unilateral neglect

Neuropsychologia. 2006;44(10):1999-2006. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.03.014. Epub 2006 May 12.


This study explores the processing of Arabic numerals in three patients with dense left unilateral neglect. Three tasks have been used: a test of visual awareness (is the stimulus on the left, on the right or on both sides?), a number comparison task (is the number larger or smaller than 5?), a number parity judgment task (is the number odd or even?). The test of visual awareness indicated that all three patients were completely unaware of the stimuli presented in the left hemifield. Despite this, the number comparison and number parity judgment tasks clearly indicated that Arabic numerals were unconsciously processed at semantic level (i.e. quantity). These results show that patients with left unilateral neglect can still semantically process Arabic numerals unconsciously.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Judgment / physiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Mathematics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Perceptual Disorders / pathology
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Reaction Time
  • Unconscious, Psychology*