Published 01/01/2014
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Combining Language and Space: Sentence Bisection in Unilateral Spatial Neglect

V.L. , G.M. , A.L. , V.G.

Right-brain-damaged patients with left spatial neglect may show a rightward bias in line bisection, a task widely used for both the clinical assessment and experimental investigations of neglect. The magnitude of the patients rightward bias is influ-enced by stimulus length, typically with a disproportionately greater rightward error with longer lines, as compared to patients without neglect and control participants.
In line bisection right-brain-damaged patients with left spatial neglect show a rightward deviation, with respect to the line\u27s physical center. In word bisection ortho-phonological features of the stimulus\u27 final (right-sided) part modulate performance of both patients and healthy participants (Veronelli, Vallar, Marinelli, Primativo, & Arduino, 2014). We investigated the role of linguistic factors in sentence bisection, in patients with and without neglect, and control participants. The effects of information in the rightsided part of the sentence (Experiment #1), and of lexical and syntactic violations (Experiment #2) were assessed. Neglect patients showed an overall rightward bias, larger than those of patients without neglect and controls. The neglect patients\u27 bias was modulated by stimulus type, decreasing from lines, to letter strings and to all types of sentences. In sum, in visuo-manual sentence bisection a basic linguistic mechanism, such as sentence readability, brings about a more leftward appreciation of the stimulus, reducing the neglect patients\u27 rightward bias
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