John Libbey Eurotext

Revue de neuropsychologie


Sound lateralisation assessment in unilateral spatial neglect: case of Mrs. B Volume 8, issue 2, Avril-Mai-Juin 2016


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1 Université Charles-de-Gaulle Lille 3,
Domaine Universitaire Pont de Bois,
Axe « Neuropsychologie : audition, cognition, action », Laboratoire Psitec,
UFR de psychologie,
BP 60 149, 59653 Villeneuve d’Ascq, France
2 CHRU de Lille, Hôpital Salengro,
Service d’exploration fonctionnelle de la vision et neuro-ophtalmologie,
boulevard Emile-Laine
59037 Lille, France
* Correspondance

Although visual deficits due to unilateral spatial neglect (USN) have been frequently studied, very few studies described auditory deficits associated with USN, especially deficits in directional hearing. Our aim in this study was to explore sound lateralisation impairment in USN thanks to a paradigm inspired by Tanaka et al.[8]. In this paradigm, we used interaural time differences (ITD) over headphones to give the illusion of a leftward or rightward movement of the sounds. Participant had to say “right” or “left” as soon as possible when the sounds moved, respectively, to the right or left side of the auditory space. In our study, we included one patient with a severe chronic USN after a stroke and nine paired healthy participants. Thanks to Crawford's method [20], we compared the patient's results to controls’ ones on this auditory midpoint task and on a line bisection task with 20 cm lines. As expected, the patient was severely impaired in vision, with a major rightward deviation on line bisection, but also in hearing. Actually, although the patient had no difficulty to lateralise a sound on the right side, she was in deficit for left sounds compared to the control group. Sounds had to be located very far to the left to be perceived by this patient as “left sounds”, inducing a leftward deviation of the midpoint of the IDT. Thus, this task appears to be relevant to study sound lateralisation impairment in USN and could be a promising clinical tool to explore potential auditory deficits in USN patients. A reiteration of this paradigm with more USN patients could also permit to learn more about links between USN severity in vision and sound lateralisation deficits.