Visual hemispatial inattention: Stimulus parameters and exploratory strategies

Sandra Weintraub*, M. Marsel Mesulam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

194 Scopus citations


Patients with unilateral hemispheric lesions were given visual target cancellation tasks. As expected, marked contralateral and less severe ipsilateral visual inattention were observed in patients with right-sided cerebral lesions whereas those with left-sided lesions showed only mild contralateral neglect. Stimulus material (shapes vs letters) and array (random vs structured) interacted in a complex manner to influence target detection only in patients with right-sided lesions. Furthermore, the search strategy of these patients tended to be erratic, particularly when the stimuli were in an unstructured array. A structured array prompted a more systematic and efficient search. It appears, therefore, that stimulus content and spatial array affect neglect behaviour in patients with right-sided lesions and that a lack of systematic visual exploration within the extrapersonal space is one factor that contributes to visual hemispatial inattention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1481-1488
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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