Improvement of unilateral spatial neglect with numbering

Neurology. 1990 Sep;40(9):1395-8. doi: 10.1212/wnl.40.9.1395.


We examined 8 patients with moderate to severe left unilateral spatial neglect by means of a series of line cancellation tasks. We asked the patients to cross out lines in the 1st trial, to number lines in the 2nd trial, and again to cross out lines in the 3rd trial. In the 2nd trial with numbering, all the patients showed improvement of left unilateral spatial neglect. Numbering involved the successive use of increasing numbers. This process seemed to motivate the patients to continue searching for another line, even at the point when they would be satisfied that they had completed the task if they used simple crossing-out. Insufficient motivation for visuospatial searching may play an important role in unilateral spatial neglect observed in cancellation tasks.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / psychology
  • Denial, Psychological*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Hemiplegia / physiopathology
  • Hemiplegia / psychology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Space Perception*