Figural perception and parsing in visuospatial neglect

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WE investigated copying of simple contours by a patient with left neglect after right hemisphere lesion. The stimuli were rectangles or circles with one or two internal boundaries defined by a black-white or a two-colour contrast. On each trial, the patient attempted to copy the contour of one of the (prespecified) sub-figures defined by a boundary contrast. Copying was accurate when boundaries were the right edges of sub-figures; when physically identical boundaries were the left edges of the sub-figures, accurate copying was impossible. These results held even when, prior to copying, the patient traced the outline of the figure (and ground) with his finger. A ‘representational’ account of object-centred neglect is supported.

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