Abstract

Serial and parallel visual search tasks were presented to patients with focal lesions in dorsolateral frontal, lateral parietal, or temporal-parietal cortex. In the unilateral display conditions, search efficiency in all patient groups was similar to the normal control group for stimuli both on the ipsi-and on the contralesional side of the displays. In contrast, in the bilateral display conditions, all patient groups showed a marked delay in initiating search on the side contralateral to the lesion as compared to normal controls. This delay was more pronounced when attention demands on the ipsilateral side increased, either by making target-distractor discrimination more difficult (serial search task), or by increasing the number of ipsilateral distractor items. The contralateral deficit was evident in all patient groups, supporting the notion that dorsolateral frontal as well as posterior parietal and temporal-parietal cortex plays a critical role in visual spatial attention.

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