A circle-monitor for computerised assessment of visual neglect in peripersonal space

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Abstract

UNLABELLED: Current assessment of visual neglect involves paper-and-pencil tests or computer-based tasks. Both have been criticised because of their lack of ecological validity as target stimuli can only be presented in a restricted visual range. This study examined the user-friendliness and diagnostic strength of a new "Circle-Monitor" (CM), which enlarges the range of the peripersonal space, in comparison to a standard paper-and-pencil test (Neglect-Test, NET). METHODS: Ten stroke patients with neglect and ten age-matched healthy controls were examined by the NET and the CM test comprising of four subtests (Star Cancellation, Line Bisection, Dice Task, and Puzzle Test). RESULTS: The acceptance of the CM in elderly controls and neglect patients was high. Participants rated the examination by CM as clear, safe and more enjoyable than NET. Healthy controls performed at ceiling on all subtests, without any systematic differences between the visual fields. Both NET and CM revealed significant differences between controls and patients in Line Bisection, Star Cancellation and visuo-constructive tasks (NET: Figure Copying, CM: Puzzle Test). Discriminant analyses revealed cross-validated assignment of patients and controls to groups was more precise when based on the CM (hit rate 90%) as compared to the NET (hit rate 70%). CONCLUSION: The CM proved to be a sensitive novel tool to diagnose visual neglect symptoms quickly and accurately with superior diagnostic validity compared to a standard neglect test while being well accepted by patients. Due to its upgradable functions the system may also be a valuable tool not only to test for non-visual neglect symptoms, but also to provide treatment and assess its outcome.

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Ulm, L., Wohlrapp, D., Meinzer, M., Steinicke, R., Schatz, A., Denzler, P., … Winter, Y. (2013). A circle-monitor for computerised assessment of visual neglect in peripersonal space. PLoS ONE, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0082892

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