Perception of motion-in-depth in patients with partial or complete cerebral hemispherectomy.
King SM., Frey S., Villemure JG., Ptito A., Azzopardi P.
Four patients with functional hemispherectomy, one patient with a complete anatomical hemispherectomy, and one patient with unilateral removal of the temporal, parietal and occipital lobes took part in two sets of experiments designed to investigate their residual sensitivity to motion-in-depth in the hemianopic visual field. Two types of computer-generated visual displays were used; in the first set of experiments, a dot pattern and in the second, a circular checkerboard. These simulated either convergent, divergent or reversed rotational motion. Each set of experiments consisted of two parts; in the first part, electrodermal responses were monitored during stimulus presentation while the subjects performed a simple distracting task. In the second part, subjects were asked to state verbally the direction of stimulus motion. Contrary to expectations, no reliable changes in skin conductance were elicited from any of the subjects by changes in the direction of motion of the component parts of either the dot pattern display or the circular checkerboard display. Furthermore, none of the subjects were able to discriminate the direction of motion of the target patterns when presented in the hemianopic field. The most parsimonious explanation is that the subcortical visual pathways which survive hemispherectomy are unable to process visual information relating to motion in depth.