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Christopher Striemer, James Danckert; Prism adaptation reduces the ‘disengage deficit’ in right brain damage patients. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):786. doi: 10.1167/7.9.786.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Recent research has shown that prism adaptation alleviates some of the symptoms of neglect. Although prism adaptation can aid patients with neglect, the mechanisms underlying these benefits remain largely unknown. One way in which prisms may work is by altering attentional orienting mechanisms which are known to be impaired in neglect. To investigate this hypothesis we tested four right brain damaged patients (two with neglect) on a reflexive covert attention task before and after rightward prism adaptation and compared them to a group of healthy controls (N=26) who underwent sham prism adaptation. Results demonstrated that rightward prism adaptation reduced both the rightward attentional bias, and the disengage deficit in patients with right brain damage irrespective of the presence of neglect. This provides for the first time, a cognitive mechanism by which prism adaptation may aid patients with neglect. Furthermore, the current results suggest that prism adaptation may also be useful for rehabilitating spatial deficits in right brain damage patients without neglect.
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