Modelling the differential effects of prisms on perception and action in neglect

Exp Brain Res. 2015 Mar;233(3):751-66. doi: 10.1007/s00221-014-4150-3. Epub 2014 Nov 28.


Damage to the right parietal cortex often leads to a syndrome known as unilateral neglect in which the patient fails to attend or respond to stimuli in left space. Recent work attempting to rehabilitate the disorder has made use of rightward-shifting prisms that displace visual input further rightward. After a brief period of adaptation to prisms, many of the symptoms of neglect show improvements that can last for hours or longer, depending on the adaptation procedure. Recent work has shown, however, that differential effects of prisms can be observed on actions (which are typically improved) and perceptual biases (which often remain unchanged). Here, we present a computational model capable of explaining some basic symptoms of neglect (line bisection behaviour), the effects of prism adaptation in both healthy controls and neglect patients and the observed dissociation between action and perception following prisms. The results of our simulations support recent contentions that prisms primarily influence behaviours normally thought to be controlled by the dorsal stream.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Attention
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology
  • Perceptual Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Space Perception
  • Visual Perception / physiology*