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May 1990

Effects of Passive Tactile and Auditory Stimuli on Left Visual Neglect

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Clinical and Biological Neurosciences, Stroke Unit, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Grenoble (France).

Arch Neurol. 1990;47(5):573-576. doi:10.1001/archneur.1990.00530050097018

• Patients with left-sided visual neglect fail to copy the left part of drawings or the drawings on the left side of a sheet of paper. Our aim was to study the variations in copying drawings induced by passive stimulation in patients with left-sided visual neglect. No stimulation at all, tactile unilateral and bilateral, binaural auditory verbal, and nonverbal stimuli were randomly applied to 14 patients with right-hemisphere strokes. Only nonverbal stimuli decreased the neglect. As nonverbal stimuli mainly activate the right hemisphere, the decrease in neglect suggests right-hemispheric hypoactivity at rest in these patients. The absence of modification of neglect during verbal stimulation suggests a bilateral hemispheric activation and the persistence of interhemispheric imbalance. Our results showed that auditory pathways take part in the network involved with neglect. Passive nonverbal auditory stimuli may be of interest in the rehabilitation of patients with left visual neglect.