Causal functional contributions and interactions in the attention network of the brain: an objective multi-perturbation analysis
The purpose of this perspective is twofold: 1) to alert and inform the neurospychology and neurology communities on how animal models can improve our understanding of spatial neglect in humans, and 2) to serve as a guide to rehabilitation strategies. Spatial neglect is a neurological syndrome that is inextricably linked to the ability to overtly or covertly reorient attention to new loci. Literature describing variants of neglect leads to the perception of lesion-induced neglect as a uniquely human syndrome for which there are limited treatment options. To the contrary, neglect has been reversed in laboratory animals, and results show that adequate neural representations and motor mechanisms for reversal are present despite damaged or deactivated cerebral cortex. These results and conclusions provoke thought on strategies that can be employed on humans to cancel neglect, and they suggest that long-term amelioration of neglect can be induced by training of specific bypass circuits.