Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Sixty patients with unilateral stroke (half with left hemisphere damage and half with right hemisphere damage) and a control group (N = 15) matched for age and educational level were tested in two experiments. In one experiment they were first shown, on each trial, a sample drawing depicting one or more objects. Following a short delay, they were asked to identify the drawing when it was paired with a drawing in which the same object(s) was transformed in categorical or coordinate spatial relations. In the other experiment, the same subjects first were shown, on each trial, a sample drawing. They then judged which of two variants (each in one type of spatial relation) looked more similar to the sample drawing. Typically, patients with left-sided stroke mistakenly identified the categorical transformation for the sample drawing in the first task; in the second task, they judged the categorical transformation as more similar to the sample drawing. Patients with right-sided stroke mistakenly identified the coordinate transformations for the sample drawing in the first task, and, in the second task, typically judged the drawings transformed along coordinate spatial relations as more similar to the sample drawing. These findings provide evidence for complementary lateralization of the two types of spatial perception. It can therefore be inferred that separate functional subsystems process the two types of spatial relations.