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The study of the performance of patients with neurological disorders has been fruitful in revealing the nature and neural basis of inhibition of return (IOR). Thus, in recent years, studies have reported abnormal IOR in patients with Alzheimer's disease, patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, and brain-damaged patients. In the present study, we investigated the hypothesis that a spatial "disengagement deficit" (DD; Posner, Walker, Friedrich, & Rafal, 1984) contributed to the pattern of impaired IOR in the ipsilesional field of parietal patients, found in a previous work (Vivas, Humphreys, & Fuentes, 2003). In a first experiment, we replicated the attenuation of IOR for ipsilesional targets on those trials with a lateralized IOR procedure. With stimuli vertically aligned about fixation, we found intact IOR for both up and down targets. Most important, when we ameliorated the potential impact of a spatial DD by presenting both cues and target in the same hemifield, still we found impaired IOR in the ipsilesional field. We interpret these findings in terms of unilateral parietal damage leading to an imbalance of the relative salience of signals represented in a spatial map for directing attention.

Original publication




Journal article


Cogn Neuropsychol

Publication Date





1049 - 1064