Several authors have suggested that arousal is an important component of learning. If the neglect syndrome is a unilateral defect of alerting (arousal) as recent studies have suggested, then patients with this syndrome should have a unilateral learning defect. To test these hypotheses, eight patients with unilateral neglect were given consonant trigrams randomly to either ear, and the patients were asked to identify the auditory stimuli either immediately or after an 18 second delay during which time the patients were asked to count. All eight demonstrated that the number of errors between the delay and non-delay conditions was greater on the neglected side significance >0·01), thereby supporting these hypotheses.
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