Simultanagnosia is an impairment in processing multiple visual elements simultaneously consecutive to bilateral posterior parietal damage, and neuroimaging data have specifically implicated the superior parietal lobule (SPL) in multiple element processing. We previously reported that a patient with focal and bilateral lesions of the SPL performed slower than controls in visual search but only for stimuli consisting of separable lines. Here, we further explored this patient's visual processing of plain object (colored disk) versus object consisting of separable lines (letter), presented in isolation (single object) versus in triplets. Identification of objects was normal in isolation but dropped to chance level when surrounded by distracters, irrespective of eccentricity and spacing. We speculate that this poor performance reflects a deficit in processing objects' relative locations within the triplet (for colored disks), aggravated by a deficit in processing the relative location of each separable line (for letters). Confirming this, performance improved when the patient just had to detect the presence of a specific colored disk within the triplets (visual search instruction), while the inability to identify the middle letter was alleviated when the distracters were identical letters that could be grouped, thereby reducing the number of ways individual lines could be bound.
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- object individuation
- posterior parietal cortex
- visual perception
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cognitive Neuroscience