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|Title:||Neglect and extinction depend greatly on task demands: a review||Authors:||Bonato, Mario||Keywords:||attention;awareness;cognitive resources;computer-based testing;dual-task;extinction;neglect;neuropsychology||Keywords Plus:||UNILATERAL SPATIAL NEGLECT;RIGHT-HEMISPHERIC STROKE;REACTION-TIME TEST;HEMISPATIAL NEGLECT;VISUAL NEGLECT;SUSTAINED ATTENTION;SELECTIVE ATTENTION;DUAL-TASK;COGNITIVE REHABILITATION;RECOVERED HEMINEGLECT||Issue Date:||2012||Publisher:||FRONTIERS MEDIA SA||Journal:||Frontiers in human neuroscience||Abstract:||
This review illustrates how, after unilateral brain damage, the presence and severity of spatial awareness deficits for the contralesional hemispace depend greatly on the quantity of attentional resources available for performance. After a brief description of neglect and extinction, different frameworks accounting for spatial and non-spatial attentional processes will be outlined. The central part of the review describes how the performance of brain-damaged patients is negatively affected by increased task demands, which can result in the emergence of severe awareness deficits for contralesional space even in patients who perform normally on paper-and-pencil tests. Throughout the review neglect is described as a spatial syndrome that can be exacerbated in the presence and severity by both spatial and non-spatial tasks. The take-home message is that the presence and degree of contralesional neglect and extinction can be dramatically overlooked based on standard clinical (paper-and-pencil) testing, where patients can easily compensate for their deficits. Only tasks where compensation is made impossible represent an appropriate approach to detect these disabling contralesional deficits of awareness when they become subtle in post-acute stroke phases.
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