Right and left neglect are not anatomically homologous: A voxel-lesion symptom mapping study

Neuropsychologia. 2021 Nov 12;162:108024. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2021.108024. Epub 2021 Sep 16.


Visuospatial neglect is a heterogenous syndrome which can occur following damage to either right or left hemisphere areas. This study employs voxel-lesion symptom mapping to identify the neural correlates of left and right egocentric and allocentric neglect in a large acute stroke cohort. A cohort of 446 acute stroke survivors (age = 26-95, 44% female) completed neuropsychological neglect assessment and routine clinical imaging. Similar to previous investigations, left egocentric and left allocentric neglect were associated with damage to distinct clusters of voxels within the posterior parietal and temporo-parietal junction areas. Unlike previous investigations, right egocentric neglect was found to most strongly associated with damage to more posterior voxels within left occipital cortical areas. Right allocentric neglect was found to be most strongly associated with damage to the anterior limb of the left internal capsule. Interestingly, the right hemisphere homologues of the areas implicated in right-lateralised neglect were not overlapping with those associated with left neglect impairment. This dissociation was present across both egocentric and allocentric neglect impairment. The results of this investigation suggest that right egocentric/allocentric neglect should not be characterised as a consequence of damage to left-hemisphere homologues of the right hemisphere attentional systems. These findings support the characterisation of visuospatial neglect as a heterogenous cluster of impairments rather than a unitary syndrome and provide novel insight into the neural correlates of spatial attention.

Keywords: Cognitive assessment; Lesion symptom-mapping; Neglect; Spatial attention; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attention
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Perceptual Disorders* / diagnostic imaging
  • Perceptual Disorders* / etiology
  • Space Perception
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Stroke* / diagnostic imaging