The aim of this research was to study the behavioral and neurophysiological correlates of visual attention orientation to unseen stimuli presented to the blind hemifield of hemianopic patients, and the existence of hemispheric differences for this kind of unconscious attention. Behaviorally, by using a Posner paradigm, we found a significant attention effect in speed of response to unseen stimuli similar to that observed in the sighted hemifield and in healthy participants for visible stimuli. Moreover, event-related potential (ERP) and oscillatory attention-related activity were present following stimulus presentation to the blind hemifield. Importantly, in patients this pattern of activity was different as a function of the side of the brain lesion: Left damaged patients showed attention-related ERP and oscillatory activity broadly similar to that found in healthy participants. In contrast, right damaged patients showed a radically different pattern. These data confirm and extend to neurophysiological mechanisms the existence of unconscious visual orienting and are in keeping with a right hemisphere dominance for both unconscious and conscious attention.

Neural bases of unconscious orienting of attention in hemianopic patients: Hemispheric differences

Sanchez-Lopez, Javier
;
Savazzi, Silvia
;
Pedersini, Caterina A;Cardobi, Nicolò;Marzi, Carlo A
2020

Abstract

The aim of this research was to study the behavioral and neurophysiological correlates of visual attention orientation to unseen stimuli presented to the blind hemifield of hemianopic patients, and the existence of hemispheric differences for this kind of unconscious attention. Behaviorally, by using a Posner paradigm, we found a significant attention effect in speed of response to unseen stimuli similar to that observed in the sighted hemifield and in healthy participants for visible stimuli. Moreover, event-related potential (ERP) and oscillatory attention-related activity were present following stimulus presentation to the blind hemifield. Importantly, in patients this pattern of activity was different as a function of the side of the brain lesion: Left damaged patients showed attention-related ERP and oscillatory activity broadly similar to that found in healthy participants. In contrast, right damaged patients showed a radically different pattern. These data confirm and extend to neurophysiological mechanisms the existence of unconscious visual orienting and are in keeping with a right hemisphere dominance for both unconscious and conscious attention.
frequency oscillations
hemianopia
perceptual awareness
ERP
Unconscious visual attention
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1015596
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