Left extinction in dichotic versus diotic tests have different neural substrates.
Contralesional dichotic extinction can occur in left or right temporo-parieto-frontal lesions.
Ipsilesional extinction can occur in left intrahemispheric white matter lesions.
Bilateral symmetrical extinction can occur in lesions of the right hemispheric attentional system.
Bilateral symmetrical extinction can occur in left lesions of the auditory and association cortex.
The key symptoms of auditory neglect include left extinction on tasks of dichotic and/or diotic listening and rightward shift in locating sounds. The anatomical correlates of the latter are relatively well understood, but no systematic studies have examined auditory extinction. Here, we performed a systematic study of anatomo-clinical correlates of extinction by using dichotic and/or diotic listening tasks.
In total, 20 patients with right hemispheric damage (RHD) and 19 with left hemispheric damage (LHD) performed dichotic and diotic listening tasks. Either task consists of the simultaneous presentation of word pairs; in the dichotic task, 1 word is presented to each ear, and in the diotic task, each word is lateralized by means of interaural time differences and presented to one side.
Results and conclusion
RHD was associated with exclusively contralesional extinction in dichotic or diotic listening, whereas in selected cases, LHD led to contra- or ipsilesional extinction. Bilateral symmetrical extinction occurred in RHD or LHD, with dichotic or diotic listening. The anatomical correlates of these extinction profiles offer an insight into the organisation of the auditory and attentional systems. First, left extinction in dichotic versus diotic listening involves different parts of the right hemisphere, which explains the double dissociation between these 2 neglect symptoms. Second, contralesional extinction in the dichotic task relies on homologous regions in either hemisphere. Third, ipsilesional extinction in dichotic listening after LHD was associated with lesions of the intrahemispheric white matter, interrupting callosal fibres outside their midsagittal or periventricular trajectory. Fourth, bilateral symmetrical extinction was associated with large parieto-fronto-temporal LHD or smaller parieto-temporal RHD, which suggests that divided attention, supported by the right hemisphere, and auditory streaming, supported by the left, likely play a critical role.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Anatomo-clinical correlations, Auditory spatial processing, Attention, Unilateral spatial neglect, Auditory extinction