Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Near and Far

Berti and Frassinetti reports an interesting case of unilateral neglect.
[Berti, A. & Frassinetti, F. (2000) When far becomes near: Remapping of space by tool use. J of Cognitive Neuroscience.]

The patient showed a neglect of the left space, as is seen in other cases of unilateral neglect. In this case, the neglect was seen only in the peripersonal space (near space), not in the extrapersonal space (far space).

But when the patient performed with a stick, the neglect was also extended to the end of the stick. By using a stick, the 'far' space was converted into the 'near' space, as the patient's body schema incorporated the stick into itself.

The distinction between the peripersonal and the extrapersonal, the near and the far, is not something fixed.