Unilateral parietal lobe damage, particularly in the right cerebral hemisphere, leads to neglect of stimuli on the contra lateral side. To determine the reference frame within which neglect operates in the somatosensory system, 11 patients with unilateral neglect were touched simultaneously on the left and right side of the wrist of one hand. The hand was tested in both the palm up and the palm down position. Patients neglected the stimuli on the side of space contra lateral to the lesion regardless of hand position. These results indicate that point-localization in the somatosensory system is accomplished with respect to a spatially defined frame-of-reference and not strictly with respect to somatotopically defined coordinates.
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© 1994 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology