Auditory sustained attention is a marker of unilateral spatial neglect

Neuropsychologia. 1997 Dec;35(12):1527-32. doi: 10.1016/s0028-3932(97)00084-5.


The relationships between performance on a non-spatially-lateralized measure of sustained attention and spatial bias on tests sensitive to unilateral neglect were considered in a group of 44 patients with right hemisphere lesions following stroke. As predicted from earlier studies showing a strong association between unilateral spatial neglect and sustained attention, performance on a brief and monotonous tone-counting measure formed a significant predictor of spatial bias across a variety of measures of unilateral visual neglect. This study provides further evidence for a very close link between two attentional systems hitherto regarded as being quite separate, namely a spatial attention system implicated in unilateral neglect and a sustained attention system. A close connection between these two systems was predicted by Posner, who argued that the right hemisphere-dominant sustained attention system provides a strong modulatory influence on the functioning of the lateralized posterior attention system.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Aged
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Biomarkers
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology
  • Visual Fields / physiology


  • Biomarkers