Eye movements in patients with Neglect compared to Hemianopia show space-centred attention when fixating rotating objects

Fuehr MK, Zangemeister WH. Neurol Res. 2005 ;27(3):302-9.

To determine whether attention operates in space-based or object-based coordinates, Neglect patients were confronted with a rotating object. After the object had undergone a 180-degree rotation a stimulus appeared on either side of the object and the reaction times were measured. The results of the present study showed that all patients performed worse on the contralateral side, both in the static as well as in the moving condition. This supports the theory that attention operates in space-centred reference frames. To bring some light into the discussion, the recording of eye movements was included. Our results showed three effects: (1) most eye movements started to the right of the midline; (2) some patients followed the moving object to the mid-line, before they returned to the ipsi-lesional side; (3) some patients followed the complete movement of the barbell. It is argued that patients recovering from Neglect consciously make more eye movements to the left to compensate for the deficit, but attention remains in the ipsi-lesional field.