Tactile exploration of space and visual neglect in brain-damaged patients

J Neurol. 1987 Jun;234(5):292-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00314283.


A maze test of tactile scanning was used to investigate the relationship between visual neglect and the tactile modality of space exploration in 46 patients with right-sided brain damage (RBD) (20 with and 26 without visual neglect), 27 patients with left-sided brain damage (LBD) and 30 controls. Both LBD and RBD patients that were free from visual neglect more frequently used the tactile mode to explore the space contralateral to the sound hemisphere, while the RBD patients affected by visual hemi-inattention preferred tactile scanning of the left, visually neglected, half of space. Some implications of these findings are discussed. In particular, the modality-specific nature of neglect phenomena and the possibility of tactile compensation are suggested.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attention*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / pathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / psychology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / complications
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / psychology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Space Perception
  • Touch*
  • Visual Perception*