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Spatial orientation in man: effects of left, right, and bilateral posterior cerebral lesions
  1. Graham Ratcliff,
  2. Freda Newcombe
  1. Department of Neurology, The Churchill Hospital, Oxford


    Men with chronic, penetrating missile wounds of the brain were examined with two `spatial' tasks: a visually-guided stylus maze and a locomotor map-reading task. Men whose lesions involved the posterior part of the right cerebral hemisphere were significantly worse than those with left posterior lesions at stylus maze-learning. On the locomotor task, however, a highly significant deficit was found in the group of men with bilateral posterior cerebral lesions, while those with unilateral lesions of either hemisphere and those with bilateral frontal lesions were unimpaired. The contributions of the two cerebral hemispheres to the analysis of spatial information are discussed in the light of these results and it is suggested that, while the right hemisphere has a special role in the perception of space, it does not bear exclusive responsibility for the maintenance of spatial orientation.

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    • 1 This work was supported by Medical Research Council Grants 967/90/C and 970/874/C and by a Medical Research Council Scholarship (G77/1333) to Graham Ratcliff.