The prioritisation of motivationally salient stimuli in hemi-spatial neglect may be underpinned by goal-relevance: a meta-analytic review

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Damage to regions underpinning attention can result in hemi-spatial neglect,
characterised by inattention to stimuli presented in the contralesion side of space.
Motivationally salient stimuli (e.g. reward/threat) are, however, more resilient to neglect and more likely to be detected compared to neutral stimuli. Prominent theories of attention suggest that the motivational detection advantage in neglect reflects the contribution of an independent ‘emotional attention’ system. However, the measures of stimulus awareness previously used often present the stimuli as goal-relevant targets to be detected. Previous findings may therefore be more consistent with top-down attentional guidance, which in some cases is preserved in hemi-spatial neglect. Using a multilevel and Bayesian meta-analytic approaches to individual patient and group data, the evidence for a motivational detection advantage in neglect, and conditions when it emerges, were examined and conceptual claims were reviewed. Cumulative evidence suggested that in perceptually simple conditions, when a single stimulus appeared, there was no evidence of a motivational detection advantage (Individual: k = 36; logOR = .02, 95%CI [-.44,.47]; Group: k = 2, d z = .24, 95%CI[-.26, .74]). Conversely, under increased perceptual demands with multiple goal-relevant stimuli, there was evidence that motivationally salient stimuli were detected more than neutral stimuli in the contralesion side of space (Individual: k = 37, logOR = 1.04, 95%CI[.74, 1.34]; Group: k = 7, d z = .81, 95%CI[.27, 1.35]). Across all
investigations the motivationally salient stimuli were always a goal-relevant target, thus suggesting that the prioritisation of motivational salience is more consistent with a top-down goal-driven mechanism. The results are contextualised within existing priority map and perceptual load models of neglect, whereby perceptual load induces suppression of the less relevant contralesion side of space. Under limited perceptual capacity, only stimuli with task-relevance are processed, which may be heighted for motivationally salient stimuli.

Crown Copyright © 2022 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. The attached document (embargoed until 11/03/2024) is an author produced version of a paper published in CORTEX uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2022

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