Separating neural correlates of allocentric and egocentric neglect: Distinct cortical sites and common white matter disconnections

Magdalena Chechlacz, Pia Rotshtein, Wai Ling Bickerton, Peter C. Hansen, Shoumitro Deb, Glyn W. Humphreys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Insights into the functional nature and neuroanatomy of spatial attention have come from research in neglect patients but to date many conflicting results have been reported. The novelty of the current study is that we used voxel-wise analyses based on information from segmented grey and white matter tissue combined with diffusion tensor imaging to decompose neural substrates of different neglect symptoms. Allocentric neglect was associated with damage to posterior cortical regions (posterior superior temporal sulcus, angular, middle temporal and middle occipital gyri). In contrast, egocentric neglect was associated with more anterior cortical damage (middle frontal, postcentral, supramarginal, and superior temporal gyri) and damage within subcortical structures. Damage to intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) was associated with both forms of neglect. Importantly, we showed that both disorders were associated with white matter lesions suggesting damage within long association and projection pathways such as the superior longitudinal, superior fronto-occipital, inferior longitudinal, and inferior fronto-occipital fascicule, thalamic radiation, and corona radiata. We conclude that distinct cortical regions control attention (a) across space (using an egocentric frame of reference) and (b) within objects (using an allocentric frame of reference), while common cortical regions (TPJ, IPS) and common white matter pathways support interactions across the different cortical regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-303
Number of pages27
JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Correspondence should be addressed to Magdalena Chechlacz, Behavioural Brain Sciences Centre, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK (Email: This work was supported by grants from the Medical Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust (to P.R.), and the Stroke Association (UK).


  • Allocentric
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Egocentric
  • Spatial attention
  • Visual neglect
  • Voxelbased morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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