Object-Based Inhibition of Return in Patients With Posterior Parietal Damage

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Recent evidence has shown that inhibition of return, IOR, is impaired in patients with parietal damage with or without clinical signs of neglect (Bartolomeo, Sieroff, Decaix, & Chokron, 2001; Vivas, Humphreys, & Fuentes, 2003, respectively). In addition to environment-based IOR, Tipper et al. (1991) showed that IOR could be also associated with dynamic, object-based representations. In our study, we examined four patients with unilateral lesions to the parietal lobe, and a group of healthy controls, in an IOR procedure with moving objects where a pre-cued object could move, clockwise or counter-clockwise, 90° in polar coordinates. The group of control participants showed a small but significant object-based IOR effect. In contrast, the patients showed an object-based IOR effect when the objects moved from the contralesional field toward the ipsilesional field, whereas there was no IOR effect when they moved from the ipsilesional to the contralesional field. These findings are discussed in terms of the role of the parietal cortex in implementing attentional biases in both environment-based (Vivas et al., 2003) and object-based frames of reference.

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