Neglect dyslexia with a stimulus-centred deficit and without visuospatial neglect

M. Haywood*, M. Coltheart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper reports a single case of ipsilesional left neglect dyslexia and interprets it according to the three-level model of visual word recognition proposed by Caramazza and Hillis (1990). The three levels reflect a progression from the physical stimulus to an abstract representation of a word. RR was not impaired at the first, retinocentric, level, which represents the individual features of letters within a word according to the location of the word in the visual field: She made the same number of errors to words presented in her left visual field as in her right visual field. A deficit at this level should also mean the patient neglects all stimuli. This did not occur with RR: She did not neglect when naming the items in rows of objects and rows of geometric symbols. In addition, although she displayed significant neglect dyslexia when making visual matching judgements on pairs of words and nonwords, she did not do so to pairs of nonsense letter shapes, shapes which display the same level of visual complexity as letters in words. RR was not impaired at the third, graphemic, level, which represents the ordinal positions of letters within a word: She continued to neglect the leftmost (spatial) letter of words presented in mirror-reversed orientation and she did not neglect in oral spelling. By elimination, these results suggest RR's deficit affects a spatial reference frame where the representational space is bounded by the stimulus: A stimulus-centred level of representation. We define five characteristics of a stimulus-centred deficit, as manifest in RR. First, it is not the case that neglect dyslexia occurs because the remaining letters in a string attract or capture attention away from the leftmost letter(s). Second, the deficit is continuous across the letter string. Third, perceptually significant features, such as spaces, define potential words. Fourth, the whole, rather than part, of a letter is neglected. Fifth, category information is preserved. It is concluded that the Caramazza-Hillis model accounts well for RR's data, although we conclude that neglect dyslexia can be present when a more general visuospatial neglect is absent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-615
Number of pages39
JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
Volume18
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

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