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Rehabilitation for disorders of attention.
In B. A. Wilson (Ed.), Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: Theory and Practice, 23 - 52
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The scientific study of attention is a relatively new and rapidly developing field. Insights from this work are already influencing clinical practice in terms of improved assessment and rehabilitation of people with brain injuries. After briefly introducing some conceptual issues, a major section of this chapter concerns one of the most striking and surprisingly common acquired disorders of attention, unilateral spatial neglect. Six very different approaches to ameliorating this condition are considered, including recent results using prism lens adaptation. In the second section, the chapter focuses on difficulties in non-spatial attention faced by adults who have suffered a brain injury. Disorders of attention are associated with slowed recovery and reduced outcome. It is clear that in addition to any direct impediment to everyday activities, problems at this level can compromise the useful expression/recovery of other capacities. Although theory, assessment and rehabilitation in this important clinical area are at an early stage, the reviewed evidence provides some optimistic pointers for future development.