Body representation alterations in personal but not in extrapersonal neglect patients

Antonella di Vita, Liana Palermo, Laura Piccardi, Jessica di Tella, Filomena Propato, Cecilia Guariglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is still a matter of debate around the nature of personal neglect. Is it an attention disorder or a body representation disorder? Here we investigate the presence of body representation deficits (i.e., the visuo-spatial body map) in right and left brain-damaged patients and in particular in those affected by personal neglect. 23 unilateral brain-damaged patients (5 left-brain-damaged and 18 right-brain-damaged patients) and 15 healthy controls took part in the study. The visuo-spatial body map was assessed by means of the “Frontal body-evocation subtest (FBE),” in which participants have to put tiles representing body parts on a small wooden board where only the head is depicted as a reference point. In order to compare performance on the FBE with performance on an inanimate object that had well-defined right and left sides, participants also performed the “Car test.” Group statistical analysis shows that the performance of patients with personal neglect is significantly worse than that of the controls and patients without personal neglect in the FBE but not in the Car test. Single case analyses of the five patients with pure personal neglect confirm the results of group analysis. Our data supports the hypothesis that personal neglect is a pervasive body representation disorder.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-317
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Neuropsychology: Adult
Issue number4
Early online date16 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017


  • body representation
  • body schema
  • extrapersonal neglect
  • personal neglect
  • visuo-spatial body map


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