When one half of your body is unresponsive When one half of your body is unresponsive

When one half of your body is unresponsive

Special 26 February, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.


Your brain’s ability to pay attention is a fundamental cognitive process of human development. When this process is disrupted, disorders such as hemispatial neglect, can arise.

This generally occurs after brain injury or damage, often in the right hemisphere. This leaves patients unresponsive and disoriented as a result of the stimuli they receive through their left hemisphere, which means that this “seizes to exist.” Some types of hemispatial neglect include:

  • Attentional or sensory neglect: This occurs when a person’s selective attention inhibits them from distributing their attention to the stimuli of their external (extracorporeal) space or to the stimuli of their own body (personal). This manifests as having difficulty responding to a stimulus on the opposite side of the brain where a brain injury has occurred.
  • Spatial – personal neglect: This type of neglect is related to one’s own personal space. Signs of this include patients who only dress half of their bodies, men who shave only half of their beards or women who only put lipstick on half of their lips.
  • Intentional or motor neglect: This consists of having a hard time distributing one’s attention on the actions or intentions of one’s body in space.
  • Affective neglect: When patients behave as if nothing matters. In some cases, the patient is aware of their hemiplegia, but does not care about it; and in others, the condition can become serious leading to the rejection or abuse of the left side of the body (misoplegia).

Source: Heminegligencia visuo-espacial: aspectos clínicos, teóricos y tratamiento (“Visual and Spatial Hemispatial Neglect: Clinical, Theoretical and Treatment Aspects”) from the journal Acción Psicológica

See also: What happens to the brain during a stroke?