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Systematic analysis of deficits in visual attention
Duncan, J., Bundesen, C., Olson, A., Humphreys, G., Chavda, S., & Shibuya, H.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 128(4), 450-478
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A variety of impairments in visual attention can follow damage to the brain. We develop systematic methods for analyzing such impairments in terms of Bundesen's (1990) Theory of Visual Attention, and apply these in a group of 9 patients with parietal lobe lesions and variable degrees of spatial neglect. In whole report, patients reported letters from brief, vertical arrays in left or right visual field. The results showed substantial, largely bilateral impairments in processing capacity, implying a major nonlateralized aspect to neglect. In partial report, arrays contained one or two letters in red and/or green. The task was to report only those letters in a specified target color. In addition to the expected bias against left-sided letters, patients showed striking, bilateral preservation of top-down control, or attentional priority for targets. The results show substantial promise in adapting an analysis of normal function to measurement of distinct aspects of visual attentional disorder.