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hemispatial neglect

Neurological impairments following stroke often disrupt the processes that allow us to perceive the world and interact within it. Our visuomotor system has a remarkable capacity to adapt itself, but its adaptation is limited, forcing many individuals to live out their lives with serious disabilities. However, even those of us who age “naturally” are affected by a significant decline in the ability to acquire new motor skills, and a general decline in motor skill performance. It is therefore imperative that we develop a better understanding of how aging, stroke and other neurological impairments affect perception and action.

Imagine waking up to find that the left half of your world was missing. Your everyday life would be devastated by no longer being able to notice anything to the left - even food on the left of your plate. Even worse, it would be like your very concept of left itself was impaired. Your everyday perceptions of the world and your interactions in it would suffer. This disorder, called hemispatial neglect, is a common result of stroke that affects thousands of Canadians every year.

Even though previous research has suggested that patients with hemispatial neglect have a deficit that is mainly perceptual in nature, Dr. Marotta's work has revealed that hemispatial neglect also impairs the programming and control of visually guided grasping - possibly by preventing the formation of a complete representation of an object.

Insights from this research will not only have important theoretical implications for our understanding of the primate visual system, it will also help in the development of sophisticated diagnostic tools and more theoretically-motivated approaches to rehabilitation.

Representative Publications :

Click Here to View PDF Meek, B.P., Shelton, P. & Marotta, J.J. (2013). Posterior Cortical Atrophy: Visuomotor Deficits in Reaching and Grasping. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7:294. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00294. (Invited)
Click Here to View PDF Adduri, C. & Marotta, J.J. (2009). The effects of mental rotation and inversion on face perception in healthy aging and Alzheimer’s disease. PLoS ONE, 4(7): e6120. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006120.
Click Here to View PDF Baugh, L.A. & Marotta, J.J. (2009). When What's Left is Right: Visuomotor Transformations in an Aged Population. PLoS ONE, 4(5): e5484. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005484.
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visuomotor control
hemispatial neglect

visual perception