Understanding the effects of moving visual stimuli on unilateral neglect following stroke Conference Paper uri icon


  • Moving visual stimuli have been shown to reduce unilateral neglect (ULN), however, the mechanisms underlying these effects remain poorly understood. This study compared lateralised and non-lateralised moving visual stimuli to investigate whether the spatial characteristics or general alerting properties of moving visual stimuli are responsible for reducing neglect. Post-stroke left neglect patients as well as healthy and patient control subjects were tested on a computerised line bisection task under six visual stimulus conditions. The key finding was that, relative to the no stimulus condition, leftward moving and left-sided moving visual stimuli shifted neglect patients' bisection errors leftward while the non-lateralised random moving visual stimuli did not reduce neglect patients' rightward bisection errors. The results provide evidence that spatial characteristics rather than general alerting properties of moving visual stimuli reduce rightward bisection errors in ULN. Moreover, the pattern of findings strongly supports the notion that moving visual stimuli reduce neglect by capturing attention and drawing it to a spatial location rather than by activating the attentional system via superior collicular neurons.

publication date

  • March 2006