Neglect of contralateral visual stimuli in monkeys with unilateral striatal dopamine depletion

Behav Brain Res. 1991 Dec 20;46(2):187-95. doi: 10.1016/s0166-4328(05)80112-3.


Unilateral lesions of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic system were induced by injecting 6-hydroxydopamine into the substantia nigra of three monkeys trained to initiate arm movements in response to stimuli randomly presented at various locations in their immediate visual space. This procedure resulted in partial reduction of dopamine content, as compared to intact side, in both the putamen and caudate nucleus, with the exception of the putamen in one monkey. A concomitant reduction in the level of dihydroxyphenylacetic acid was observed, but less systematically than the dopamine decrease in the same striatal regions. All monkeys displayed a predominant contralateral arm hypokinesia consisting of a slowness in initiating movements, little or not affected by the hemispace of presentation of the trigger stimulus. Conversely, when the monkeys responded with the arm ipsilateral to the lesion, the movement was initiated more slowly when the trigger stimulus was presented to the hemispace contralateral to the striatal dopaminergic depletion as compared to the ipsilateral hemispace. The results suggest that the visual neglect is more conspicuous when monkeys performed with the arm ipsilateral to the damaged nigrostriatal system. This neglect may be described as a disorder in the ease with which stimuli presented to the side contralateral to the impaired dopaminergic transmission are able to elicit behavioral responses, possibly as the result of a lack of selective attention or defective movement initiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Caudate Nucleus / physiology
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Papio
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Putamen / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Receptors, Dopamine / physiology*
  • Substantia Nigra / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*


  • Receptors, Dopamine
  • Dopamine