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Hemispace-visual field interactions in visual extinction.
  1. S Z Rapcsak,
  2. R T Watson,
  3. K M Heilman
  1. Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610.


    Visual extinction was studied in a patient with neglect from a right hemispheric lesion. Extinction occurred during double simultaneous stimulation within the same visual hemi-field (VHF). This finding suggests that interhemispheric rivalry is not a critical factor. During double simultaneous stimulation within the same VHF as well as with stimuli in different VHFs, the severity of extinction was determined by both the retinotopic and the hemi-spatial position of the extinguished stimulus. The location of the other stimulus, however, did not seem relevant. It is proposed that damage to a corticolimbic-reticular system reduces attentional capacity and that extinction during double simultaneous stimulation in the visual modality reflects an inability to distribute the limited attentional resources equally to two different locations. The severity of extinction is a measure of an unequal distribution of attention along a gradient within visual space.

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