Peripersonal and extrapersonal visuospatial neglect in different frames of reference: A brain lesion-symptom mapping study

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Abstract

Introduction:

Visuospatial neglect can occur in peripersonal and extrapersonal space. The dorsal visual pathway is hypothesized to be associated with peripersonal, and the ventral pathway with extrapersonal neglect. We aimed to evaluate neural substrates of peripersonal versus extrapersonal neglect, separately for egocentric and allocentric frames of reference.

Methods:

This was a retrospective study, including stroke patients admitted for inpatient rehabilitation. Approximately 1 month post-stroke onset, computerized cancellation (egocentric) and bisection tasks (egocentric and allocentric) were administered at 30 cm and 120 cm. We collected CT or MRI scans and performed voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping for the cancellation, and subtraction analyses for the line bisection task.

Results:

We included 98 patients for the cancellation and 129 for the bisection analyses. The right parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, and thalamus were associated with egocentric peripersonal neglect as measured with cancellation. These areas were also associated with extrapersonal neglect, together with the right superior parietal lobule, angular gyrus, supramarginal gyrus, lateral occipital cortex, planum temporale and superior temporal gyrus. Lesions in the right parietal, temporal and frontal areas were associated with both peripersonal and extrapersonal egocentric neglect as measured with bisection. For allocentric neglect no clear pattern of associated brain regions was observed.

Discussion:

We found right hemispheric anatomical correlates for peripersonal and extrapersonal neglect. However, no brain areas were uniquely associated with peripersonal neglect, meaning we could not conclusively verify the ventral/dorsal hypothesis. Several areas were uniquely associated with egocentric extrapersonal neglect, suggesting that these brain areas can be specifically involved in extrapersonal, but not in peripersonal, attention processes.

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