Although several components of neglect syndrome have been reported to occur more frequently following right cerebral lesions, a right cerebral predominance for directed tactile attention has not been demonstrated. The intracarotid sodium amytal procedure (ISA, or Wada test) offers the opportunity to investigate differential effects for symmetric acute dysfunction of each cerebral hemisphere in each subject. In the present study, 18 patients undergoing preoperative evaluation for epilepsy surgery were trained in a nonverbal task of tactile attention. Left/right mean ISA dosages and left/right tactile test times postinjection were matched. Results revealed more correct responses following left ISA, and greater tactile inattention with more extinction-type responses following right ISA. No effect of seizure focus, sex, order of injection, or dosage was present. The finding that tactile inattention occurs more frequently with right cerebral dysfunction is consistent with right cerebral dominance for scanning attentional mechanisms directed at the external milieu. © 1988 American Academy of Neurology.