The functional recovery of 47 right-brain-damaged stroke patients was studied over a 2-year period. The researchers hypothesized that sustained attention capacity should predict the degree of motor and functional recovery over this period because of a proposed privileged role of sustained attention in learning-based recovery of function. As predicted, significant correlations were found between sustained attention capacity at 2 months and functional status (including the Barthel Index) at 2 years. This relationship was shown to exist independently of 2-month functional status. Furthermore, compared with a left-brain-damaged group of cerebrovascular accident (CVA) patients, the right-brain CVA group did not recover functional ability as well over the 2-year period. This increasing difference in functional status over a 2-year period was mirrored by an emerging difference in sustained attention capacity, in favor of the left-brain CVA group.