Hemispace-visual field interactions in visual extinction

Steven Z Rapcsak, Robert T. Watson, Kenneth M. Heilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations


Visual extinction was studied in a patient with neglect from a right hemispheric lesion. Extinction occurred during double simultaneous stimulation within the same visual hemi-field (VHF). This finding suggests that interhemispheric rivalry is not a critical factor. During double simultaneous stimulation within the same VHF as well as with stimuli in different VHFs, the severity of extinction was determined by both the retinotopic and the hemispatial position of the extinguished stimulus. The location of the other stimulus, however, did not seem relevant. It is proposed that damage to a corticolimbic-reticular system reduces attentional capacity and that extinction during double simultaneous stimulation in the visual modality reflects an inability to distribute the limited attentional resources equally to two different locations. The severity of extinction is a measure of an unequal distribution of attention along a gradient within visual space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1124
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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