Eye dominance modulates visuospatial attention


  • Schintu S
  • Chaumillon R
  • Guillaume A
  • Salemme R
  • Reilly K T
  • Pisella L
  • Farnè A


  • Asymmetry
  • Laterality
  • Line bisection
  • Pseudoneglect
  • Visual cortex

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Visuospatial attention has an inherent asymmetry: the leftward bias called pseudoneglect. In typical line bisection tasks, healthy individuals tend to judge the center of a line leftward of the true center, an effect attributed to the right hemisphere dominance in visuospatial attention. Since it has been shown that information perceived by the dominant eye strongly activates the ipsilateral visual cortex, we hypothesized that eye dominance may modulate visuospatial attention bias. Because activation of the left hemisphere induced by left eye dominance should mitigate the right hemisphere dominance in attention, we predicted that right-handed individuals with left dominant eye would show smaller amount of pseudoneglect than right-handed individuals with right dominant eye. We compared the performance at both the perceptual (Landmark) and manual line bisection task of forty right-handed healthy individuals, half of whom had a right dominant eye and the other half a left dominant eye. As predicted, the left eyed dominant group showed smaller, actually not significant pseudoneglect, which was thus greater in the right eye dominant group. The influence of eye dominance on visuospatial attention was present in the Landmark but not the manual line bisection task, in which the amount of visuospatial bias correlated with participants' degree of (right) handedness. This is the first report of the effect of eye dominance on visuospatial attention within a right-handed population. This finding, by showing the influence of eye dominance on visuospatial cognition, not only helps in better defining intact visuospatial cognition mechanism but also encourages further research to pinpoint the neural basis of such interaction.

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