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By Svetlana V. Kulikova and David D. Perlmutter

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The most salient limitation in dorsal simultanagnosia is on the number of objects that can be seen. Holmes and Horrax say of their patient, “It might be expected that as a result of this affection of visual attention he would be unable to see the whole of large objects presented to him at a near distance; but provided part of the image 34 Dorsal Simultanagnosia did not fall on the blind portions of his visual fields, this was never obvious on examination. He recognized objects and even complicated geometrical figures as promptly as normal persons.

By contrasting visual counting ability with tactile or auditory counting ability, one can deduce whether or not the visual component of the task per se is the source of the patient’s difficulty. Holmes (1918) describes the behavior of a typical case:“When asked to count a row of coins he became hopelessly confused, went from one end to the other and back again, and often passed over some of the series; but he succeeded in enumerating them correctly when he was allowed to run his left fingers over them” (p.

The second is the region of the retinotopic array containing the object image, activated by top-down influence from the first kind of object representation. In contrast to the distribution of attention by a purely spatial attentional “spotlight,” which would be expected to activate simple ovoid clusters of array locations, the regions activated by object representations conform to the silhouette of the object in the array. Although such regions do, in a sense, represent object shape, the representation is fundamentally spatial, consisting of a set of locations or “pixels” in an array.

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