Hemispheric asymmetry in neglect produced by unilateral lesions of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex in rats

Exp Neurol. 1988 Nov;102(2):199-209. doi: 10.1016/0014-4886(88)90094-5.


Unilateral lesions of the medial precentral prefrontal cortex produce severe polymodal neglect which reaches a stable level of recovery over 3 to 4 weeks. Previous research has indicated that neglect is produced by unilateral destruction of this region in either hemisphere, but that the nature of the neglect produced is dependent on the hemisphere damaged. The present study is a further examination of behavioral laterality produced by this unilateral destruction. The results indicated that destruction of medial precentral cortex in the left hemisphere (n = 12) produced severe contralateral multimodal neglect of visual, somatosensory, and auditory stimuli. Identical destruction in the right hemisphere (n = 18) also produced severe neglect, but unlike the left hemisphere operates which always demonstrated contralateral neglect, there were two distinct populations of right hemisphere operates. These subjects demonstrated either ipsilateral neglect or a "switching" response pattern characterized by the initial demonstration of contralateral or ipsilateral neglect and then, during the course of recovery, severe neglect on the opposite body side. Histological analysis indicated that the left and right hemisphere lesions were equivalent, as were the lesions in the two behavioral subcategories of right hemisphere operates. Operated controls (n = 12) did not demonstrate long-standing neglect or this switching pattern. The behavioral laterality observed following unilateral destruction of medial precentral prefrontal cortex is discussed in relationship to the anatomical and neurochemical asymmetries which have been demonstrated in this cortical region.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Brain Diseases / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Dominance, Cerebral*
  • Frontal Lobe* / pathology
  • Male
  • Orientation
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Touch / physiology