Diverse patterns of performance in copying and severity of unilateral spatial neglect

J Neurol. 1996 Jan;243(1):1-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00878523.


We analysed the performances of 69 patients with left unilateral spatial neglect in copying a multi-object figure, as well as their performance of the line cancellation and line bisection tests. Three patterns of copying were mainly observed. The first pattern was almost satisfactory performance in copying the central figure with occasional omission of the elements located more laterally to the left. The second pattern was omission of the left half of the whole figure, which was the pattern expected of patients with typical left unilateral spatial neglect. The third pattern was left unilateral spatial neglect when copying the central figure, with favourable copying of left lateral objects; this may be regarded as "object-centered" neglect. Performance of the line cancellation test, which requires exploratory ability, was significantly better for the patients with the third pattern than for those with the second pattern. A significant difference was also observed between the two groups of patients in performance of the line bisection test, in which exploratory ability plays a more minor role. No significant difference was found in performance of the line cancellation and line bisection tests between the patients with the third and first patterns, in spite of remarkable differences in their copying performances. No distinctive characteristics were found for any group of patients as regards lesion, age, duration after onset, education, and WAIS scores. Therefore we concluded that in most of our patients with neglect, these diverse patterns of copying deficits resulted from different levels of neglect severity but not from different types of unilateral spatial neglect.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attention*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / psychology
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Space Perception*