Neuropsychologia, 1994, Vol.32(11), pp.1397-1408
Thirteen patients with left-hemisphere stroke and history of aphasia and 13 normal controls were administered the covert orientation of visual attention task (COVAT). This task presents targets to the right or left of a central fixation point after a cue (84% of trials) or with no cue (16% of trials). Left-hemisphere damaged patients also received tests of language function at the time of the study. For targets presented 100 msec after cue onset, normal controls demonstrated equivalent responding for targets to the left and to the right of a central fixation point. Patients with left-hemisphere damage showed slower reaction times when responding to targets on the right as opposed to the left side of space when attention was first cued to the opposite side of space (invalid trials) or when attention was focused on a central fixation point (uncued trials), but they did not show slower reaction times on the right side when attention was first cued to the right (valid trials). For left-sided targets, no differences between valid, invalid, and uncued trials existed. Slower responding to right- as opposed to left-sided targets on invalid and uncued trials was correlated with impaired performance on six of seven language measures for patients with left-hemisphere damage. Implications for the relationship between language and selective attention systems in the left hemisphere are discussed.
Attention ; Selective Attention ; Spatial Attention ; Visual Attention ; Aphasia and Language ; Medicine
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