We recorded somatosensory or visual evoked potentials (SEPs, VEPs) to stimuli contralateral and ipsilateral to the lesion in three right-brain-damaged patients with left spatial hemineglect and in three left-brain-damaged patients without evidence of neglect, as assessed by visual exploratory tasks. All patients had contralateral homonymous hemianopia or hemianesthesia. The three neglect patients showed normal SEPs or VEPs to stimuli delivered to the left half-field or to the left hand, without conscious perception and verbal report of the stimulation. By contrast, the three left-brain-damaged patients without neglect showed no recognizable cortical evoked response to contralateral visual or somatosensory stimuli. In all patients, the cortical evoked responses to ipsilateral stimulation were normal. In patients with spatial hemineglect, hemianopia and hemianesthesia may be manifestations of the neglect syndrome (visual and somatosensory hemi-inattention), rather than representing primary sensory deficit. Visual and somatosensory hemi-inattention may be due to defective access to the neural processes subserving conscious perception by information that has undergone early sensory processing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology