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Lateralized spatial attention in attentive and inattentive school-aged boys
Cornish, K., MANLY, T., Dobler, V., Grant, C., & Hollis, C
Brain and Cognition, 56(1), 118-118.
Year of publication:
Unilateral neglect, a deficit in awareness for one side of space, is arelatively common consequence of stroke in adulthood. Chronic formsof the condition are associated with right hemisphere lesions and cooccurringimpairments in alertness/sustained attention. There are somereports of spatial biases of developmental origin in children. To date,these have also occurred in the context of generalized attentionaldeficits and have affected left space. We tested this association in twogroups of 6–11 year old boys from the normal school population,defined by teacher reports of good (63) or poor (58) attention. Theteacher ratings were supported by formal assessments of sustainedattention. Two tests of spatial attention were administered: a cancellationtask requiring the boys to find visual targets distributed across apage and a task requiring the estimation of the centre-point of ahorizontal line. Boys with poor attention performed more poorly onthe cancellation test but showed no consistent pattern of lateralizedspatial bias. In the line bisection test, most children showed the normalpattern of a modest deviation to the left. The opposite pattern, suggestiveof an attentional bias away from left space, was significantlyassociated with the poor attention group. The results are consistentwith adult neuropsychological literature suggesting a right hemispheremediated link between poorly maintained alertness and reducedawareness of left space, even within the normal child population.