Spatial performance bias in normal elderly subjects on aletter cancellation task

Academic Article


  • Despite the common use of random array cancellation tests in the behavioral neurologic assessment of visuospatial function, little is known about normal performance on these tasks in the age group most at risk for acquired disorders of visuospatial function. We therefore studied letter cancellation tasks obtained from 202 healthy individuals over age 50. Fifty-three of the 202 (26.2%) made a total of 79 errors in which they failed to cancel a letter. Three statistically defined outliers were excluded from further analysis. The distribution of errors on the page was not random; significantly more errors were made on the right half and the near half of the test sheet. The subjects making errors were older and less educated than those making no errors. These results suggest that normal elderly subjects have a performance bias, in the visual modality, to far peripersonal and left space. This pattern of results is consistent with past studies demonstrating biases toward distant and leftward portions of visual stimuli. This study provides the first populational data on both overall accuracy and spatial performance for a typical bedside cancellation test. © 1994 Raven Press, Ltd., New York.
  • Author List

  • Geldmacher DS; Doty L; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 275
  • End Page

  • 280
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 4