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Change across time in visuospatial search in patients with right hemisphere stroke

Conference paper
Authors Jo Inge Viken
Hans Samuelsson
Katarina Jood
Christian Blomstrand
Published in 9th Nordic Meeting in Neuropsychology. August 19-22, Göteborg, Sweden
Publication year 2007
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords Visuospatial exploration; visual neglect; visual inattention; stroke; change across time
Subject categories Psychology


Patients with a right hemisphere stroke often exhibit symptoms of aberrant visuospatial exploration such as visual inattention and disorganized search. These disturbances are complex and constitute several lateralized and non-lateralized impairments. Although individual symptoms of impaired visuospatial search have been examined in several studies, little is known about the change in these symptoms across time and about the relationships between the different symptoms. The participants in the current study were selected from a series of 411 patients included in the Sahlgrenska Academy Study on Ischemic Stroke (SAHLSIS) at Göteborg University. All patients with an acute ischemic stroke admitted to the stroke unit at the Sahlgrenska Univeristy hospital and with an age below 70 years were investigated during a period of 5 year. From these were a consecutive series of patients with a right hemisphere stroke selected for examination of impaired visuospatial search. The patients were tested at the post-acute stage (< 7 days after onset) and at a follow-up session (approximately 90 days after onset). Conventional cancellation tests and visual search tasks were used to assess the following components of impaired search: 1) lateralized inattention (omissions distributed asymmetrically across the test sheet), 2) non-lateralized inattention (omissions distributed equally across the test sheet), 3) ipsilesional bias in the start of visual search (a bias toward the right side of the test sheet when marking the first target), 4) slow processing speed on timed visual cancellation tasks. The results are described and discussed as follows: 1) the occurrence of the different symptoms at the post-acute stage, 2) the pattern of change in the symptoms between post-acute stage and follow-up, 3) the relationships between the acute symptoms and between the changes in the symptoms.

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