Visual hemispatial neglect, re-assessed

Alexandra List, Joseph L. Brooks, Michael Esterman, Anastasia V. Flevaris, Ayelet N. Landau, Glen Bowman, Victoria Stanton, Thomas M. Vanvleet, Lynn C. Robertson*, Krista Schendel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Increased computer use in clinical settings offers an opportunity to develop new neuropsychological tests that exploit the control computers have over stimulus dimensions and timing. However, before adopting new tools, empirical validation is necessary. In the current study, our aims were twofold: to describe a computerized adaptive procedure with broad potential for neuropsychological investigations, and to demonstrate its implementation in testing for visual hemispatial neglect. Visual search results from adaptive psychophysical procedures are reported from 12 healthy individuals and 23 individuals with unilateral brain injury. Healthy individuals reveal spatially symmetric performance on adaptive search measures. In patients, psychophysical outcomes (as well as those from standard paper-and-pencil search tasks) reveal visual hemispatial neglect. Consistent with previous empirical studies of hemispatial neglect, lateralized impairments in adaptive conjunction search are greater than in adaptive feature search tasks. Furthermore, those with right hemisphere damage show greater lateralized deficits in conjunction search than do those with left hemisphere damage. We argue that adaptive tests, which automatically adjust to each individual's performance level, are efficient methods for both clinical evaluations and neuropsychological investigations and have the potential to detect subtle deficits even in chronic stages, when flagrant clinical signs have frequently resolved.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)243-256
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Diagnosis
  • Neuropsychology
  • Perceptual disorders
  • Vision tests
  • Visual Search


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