Caloric stimulation in neglect: Evaluation of response as a function of neglect type

Academic Article


  • Contralesional neglect may be induced by either unawareness of contralesional stimuli (attentional neglect, AN) or failure to act in contralesional space (intentional neglect, IN). We examined whether contralesional cold caloric stimulation differentially affects AN versus IN. Patients with left-sided neglect (n = 16) from right-hemisphere lesions performed target cancellation and line bisection tasks. Using a video-based apparatus that reverses the right and left side of stimuli, patients with abnormal cancellation performance were divided into those with AN and those with IN. The 5 subjects with normal cancellation performance but rightward bisection bias were also separated into 2 neglect groups. Subjects performed cancellation or bisection tasks before and immediately after irrigation of the left auditory canal with ice water. Caloric stimulation induced brisk rightward nystagmus in all subjects. Subjects with AN cancelled more left-sided targets after stimulation than those with IN (p = .02). Whereas caloric stimulation significantly shifted bisection error leftward for both IN and AN groups (p < .0001), AN patients exhibited a greater magnitude of shift than the IN patients. While the basis for differential performance remains undefined, the data indicate that caloric stimulation influences AN more than IN.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Adair JC; Na DL; Schwartz RL; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 983
  • End Page

  • 988
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 7