To see or not to see: The effects of visible and invisible cues on line bisection judgements in unilateral neglect Academic Article uri icon


  • Patients with left unilateral neglect and matched controls were tested in two experiments to examine the effects of lateralized cues on line bisection judgements. Unlike previous studies in which letter or number cues were placed beyond the endpoint(s) of each line, we adopted a procedure which maintained the perceptual point of balance in the horizontal axis of each line. We also related the cueing task more closely to the act of bisection by requiring subjects to place a small mark in direct alignment with the endpoint(s) of each line. In the first experiment, it was found that, for controls, the presence or absence of visible lateralized cues did not differentially affect the magnitude of bisection errors. However, the magnitude of bisection errors made by neglect patients was significantly reduced (and reversed) in the presence of a visible left-sided cue, but remained well to the right of the midpoint in the absence of such cues. In a second experiment, subjects engaged in an otherwise identical cueing procedure, except that no visible marks appeared on the stimulus lines. Neither subject group was affected by the presence or absence of right-sided cues. However, the presence of left-sided cues again reduced the magnitude of bisection errors in neglect patients, but not in controls. These results indicate that the extent of the attentional bias exhibited by neglect patients can be ameliorated even in the absence of lateralized visible cues.


  • Mattingley, Jason B
  • Pierson, Jane M
  • Bradshaw, John L
  • Phillips, James G
  • Bradshaw, Judy A

publication date

  • November 1993