Left-deviating prism adaptation in left neglect patient: reflexions on a negative result.
Luauté J., Jacquin-Courtois S., O'Shea J., Christophe L., Rode G., Boisson D., Rossetti Y.
Adaptation to right-deviating prisms is a promising intervention for the rehabilitation of patients with left spatial neglect. In order to test the lateral specificity of prism adaptation on left neglect, the present study evaluated the effect of left-deviating prism on straight-ahead pointing movements and on several classical neuropsychological tests in a group of five right brain-damaged patients with left spatial neglect. A group of healthy subjects was also included for comparison purposes. After a single session of exposing simple manual pointing to left-deviating prisms, contrary to healthy controls, none of the patients showed a reliable change of the straight-ahead pointing movement in the dark. No significant modification of attentional paper-and-pencil tasks was either observed immediately or 2 hours after prism adaptation. These results suggest that the therapeutic effect of prism adaptation on left spatial neglect relies on a specific lateralized mechanism. Evidence for a directional effect for prism adaptation both in terms of the side of the visuomanual adaptation and therefore possibly in terms of the side of brain affected by the stimulation is discussed.