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We examined the frequency and severity of visual versus tactile extinction based on data from a large group of sub-acute patients (n=454) with strokes affecting different vascular territories. After right hemisphere damage visual and tactile extinction were equally common. However, after left hemisphere damage tactile extinction was more common than visual. The frequency of extinction was significantly higher in patients with right compared to left hemisphere damage in both visual and tactile modalities but this held only for strokes affecting the MCA and PCA territories and not for strokes affecting other vascular territories. Furthermore, the severity of extinction did not differ as a function of either the stimulus modality (visual versus tactile), the affected hemisphere (left versus right) or the stroke territory (MCA, PCA or other vascular territories). We conclude that the frequency but not severity of extinction in both modalities relates to the side of damage (i.e. left versus right hemisphere) and the vascular territories affected by the stroke, and that left hemisphere dominance for motor control may link to the greater incidence of tactile than visual extinction after left hemisphere stroke. We discuss the implications of our findings for understanding hemispheric lateralization within visuospatial attention networks.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





11 - 17


MCA, PCA, Stroke, Tactile extinction, Visual extinction, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Brain, Extinction, Psychological, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery, Infarction, Posterior Cerebral Artery, Male, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Perceptual Disorders, Severity of Illness Index, Space Perception, Stroke, Touch Perception, Visual Perception