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Spatial compression impairs prism adaptation in healthy individuals

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posted on 06.09.2018, 14:55 by Rachel J. Scriven, Roger NewportRoger Newport
Neglect patients typically present with gross inattention to one side of space following damage to the contralateral hemisphere. While prism-adaptation (PA) is effective in ameliorating some neglect behaviors, the mechanisms involved and their relationship to neglect remain unclear. Recent studies have shown that conscious strategic control (SC) processes in PA may be impaired in neglect patients, who are also reported to show extraordinarily long aftereffects compared to healthy participants. Determining the underlying cause of these effects may be the key to understanding therapeutic benefits. Alternative accounts suggest that reduced SC might result from a failure to detect prism-induced reaching errors properly either because (a) the size of the error is underestimated in compressed visual space or (b) pathologically increased error-detection thresholds reduce the requirement for error correction. The purpose of this study was to model these two alternatives in healthy participants and to examine whether SC and subsequent aftereffects were abnormal compared to standard PA. Each participant completed three PA procedures within a MIRAGE mediated reality environment with direction errors recorded before, during and after adaptation. During PA, visual feedback of the reach could be compressed, perturbed by noise, or represented veridically. Compressed visual space significantly reduced SC and aftereffects compared to control and noise conditions. These results support recent observations in neglect patients, suggesting that a distortion of spatial representation may successfully model neglect and explain neglect performance while adapting to prisms.



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Frontiers in Human Neuroscience




SCRIVEN, R.J. and NEWPORT, R., 2013. Spatial compression impairs prism adaptation in healthy individuals. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, Article 165.


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