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Increased Cognitive Load Reveals Unilateral Neglect and Altitudinal Extinction in Chronic Stroke

  • Michael Andres (a1), Laurie Geers (a1), Sophie Marnette (a1), Françoise Coyette (a2), Mario Bonato (a3), Konstantinos Priftis (a3) and Nicolas Masson (a1) (a4)...


Objective: Neuropsychological studies suggest that the ability to compensate for the presence of spatial neglect highly depends on the attentional resources a patient can rely on. The present research aimed to study neglect in situations where attentional resources are limited due to multitasking. Method: We examined two patients more than 3 years after a right-hemispheric stroke. Both had received neuropsychological rehabilitation for left neglect and did not show any impairment in standard tests. We used a dual-task paradigm combining a peripheral target detection task with a central shape recognition task. Peripheral targets could appear in left/right positions but also in lower/upper positions. Results: In patient #1, dual-task condition exacerbated left neglect and extinction. Patient #2 did not show any sign of neglect along the horizontal axis, but omitted half of the lower targets when they were presented simultaneously with upper targets under dual-task condition. This behavior reflects altitudinal extinction as the detection of single targets appearing either in upper or lower position was preserved. Conclusion: The present findings show that dual-tasking is a sensitive tool for the quantitative and qualitative assessment of spatial attention deficits, which are often overlooked by standard methods, especially in chronic stage. (JINS, 2019, 25, 644–653)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Nicolas Masson, Place Cardinal Mercier, 10, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. E-mail:; or Michael Andres, E-mail:


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Increased Cognitive Load Reveals Unilateral Neglect and Altitudinal Extinction in Chronic Stroke

  • Michael Andres (a1), Laurie Geers (a1), Sophie Marnette (a1), Françoise Coyette (a2), Mario Bonato (a3), Konstantinos Priftis (a3) and Nicolas Masson (a1) (a4)...


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