Capturing peripersonal spatial neglect: an electronic method to quantify visuospatial processes

Behav Res Methods. 2015 Mar;47(1):27-44. doi: 10.3758/s13428-014-0448-0.

Abstract

Computerized as well as paper-and-pencil tasks are applied in mapping visuospatial neglect in experimental research and clinical practice. This article presents a new kind of computer-based assessment method, using an electronic pen display and user-friendly software. The approach is tailored to specific spatial processes and highlights the usefulness of a pen display in neglect patients. The advantages of the introduced method are illustrated by a recently designed battery of classic, as well as new, types of tests. The development of the appropriate stimuli and the assorted scoring systems is addressed, as well as the resulting types of task implementation and data generation. The diagnostic value of the different visuospatial neglect tests is demonstrated by comparative analyses between a neglect group and a control group. Among the benefits of the proposed assessment method are (1) the opportunity to perform standardized repeated measurements to quantify recovery, (2) online performance monitoring, (3) flexible employment, (4) the collection of exact data over a short period, and (5) the easy availability of more refined quantitative as well as interesting qualitative information, especially as compared to classic or paper-and-pencil tasks. To indicate that this method also lends itself well to measures for treatment procedures, an illustration is given with respect to specific measurements during prism adaptation. The tasks of the Visuospatial Neglect Test Battery and the prism adaptation measures are illustrated by a case study. The outlined applications are discussed with respect to experimental as well as clinical purposes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agnosia* / diagnosis
  • Agnosia* / physiopathology
  • Behavioral Research* / instrumentation
  • Behavioral Research* / methods
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted* / instrumentation
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Task Performance and Analysis