Perseveration in left spatial neglect: drawing and cancellation tasks
Perseveration in target cancellation tasks and in drawing by copy and from memory was investigated in 21 right-brain-damaged patients, seven with no evidence of left visuo-spatial neglect, and 14 with neglect. Eight such neglect patients showed perseveration in both cancellation and drawing tasks, although no correlation was found with the severity of neglect. Patients with perseveration were not disproportionately impaired in tasks assessing executive (fluency, Stroop colour-word interference, and Weigl's sorting test), and visuo-spatial short-term memory function. In the context of a two-component hypothesis, graphic perseveration (the first component) is a specific disorder that manifests in a variety of tasks, particularly those requiring serial graphic production. Unilateral spatial neglect (the second component) may trigger and facilitate the production of perseveration errors, with a contra-ipsilateral gradient of increasing severity.