Neglect and Motion Stimuli--Insights from a Touchscreen-Based Cancellation Task.
Hopfner S., Kesselring S., Cazzoli D., Gutbrod K., Laube-Rosenpflanzer A., Chechlacz M., Nef T., Mosimann U., Bohlhalter S., Müri RM., Nyffeler T.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In stroke patients, neglect diagnostic is often performed by means of paper-pencil cancellation tasks. These tasks entail static stimuli, and provide no information concerning possible changes in the severity of neglect symptoms when patients are confronted with motion. We therefore aimed to directly contrast the cancellation behaviour of neglect patients under static and dynamic conditions. Since visual field deficits often occur in neglect patients, we analysed whether the integrity of the optic radiation would influence cancellation behaviour. METHODS: Twenty-five patients with left spatial neglect after right-hemispheric stroke were tested with a touchscreen cancellation task, once when the evenly distributed targets were stationary, and once when the identic targets moved with constant speed on a random path. The integrity of the right optic radiation was analysed by means of a hodologic probabilistic approach. RESULTS: Motion influenced the cancellation behaviour of neglect patients, and the direction of this influence (i.e., an increase or decrease of neglect severity) was modulated by the integrity of the right optic radiation. In patients with an intact optic radiation, the severity of neglect significantly decreased in the dynamic condition. Conversely, in patients with damage to the optic radiation, the severity of neglect significantly increased in the dynamic condition. CONCLUSION: Motion may influence neglect in stroke patients. The integrity of the optic radiation may be a predictor of whether motion increases or decreases the severity of neglect symptoms.