Unilateral spatial neglect (USN) is a highly prevalent neuropsychological syndrome. However, its assessment in clinical practice, mainly based on paper-and-pencil tests, encounters limits as only near space, called peripersonal, is assessed. However, USN is a multicomponent syndrome that can also affect far space, called extrapersonal. This space is not assessed in current clinical assessment although it can be more impacted than peripersonal space. Immersive virtual reality (VR) allows developing tasks in far space to assess this heterogeneity. This study aimed to test the feasibility and the relevance of an immersive VR task to assess far space. A cancellation task, the Bells test, was used in its original paper-and-pencil version and was also adapted into a far immersive VR version. Ten patients with left USN and sixteen age-matched healthy participants were included. A single-case method was performed to investigate the performance of each patient. Although five patients showed very similar results between both versions, the five others exhibited a dissociation with a more severe impairment in the VR version. Three of these five patients significantly differed from the healthy participants only on the VR version. As USN in far space is not brought to light by paper-and-pencil tests, immersive VR appears as a promising tool to detect USN affecting this space.

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This post is Copyright: A. Guilbert,
T.‐G. Bara,
T. Bouchara,
M. Gaffard,
C. Bourlon | November 9, 2023
Wiley: Journal of Neuropsychology: Table of Contents