Deficits in peripheral visual attention in patients with optic ataxia.
Striemer C., Blangero A., Rossetti Y., Boisson D., Rode G., Vighetto A., Pisella L., Danckert J.
Earlier research has suggested that optic ataxia, a deficit in reaching in peripheral vision, can be isolated from Balint's syndrome as it is primarily a visuomotor disorder, independent of perceptual or attentional deficits. Yet almost no research has examined the attentional abilities of these patients. We examined peripheral visual attention in two patients with unilateral optic ataxia. Results indicated that both patients were slower to respond to targets in their ataxic visual field, irrespective of cuing condition (i.e. validly, invalidly, and no cue conditions), consistent with an overall decrease in the salience of stimuli in the ataxic field. Attentional deficits in peripheral vision are therefore an important factor to consider when examining visuomotor control deficits in optic ataxia.