In the current project, we are examining the effects of a promising rehabilitation method that can alleviate cognitive deficits of patients with brain damage. This method, called “prism adaptation” has recently received much attention as a potential method for the rehabilitation of unilateral neglect symptoms in patients with right hemispheric damage. Following promising results, this method is more and more widely used on these patients, but there is still a lack of knowledge about the changes following such intensive training in neural networks underlying cognitive functions.
Moreover, little is known about the effects of such training on cognitive functions that are not or only partially disturbed by the lesion. In our project, we are using functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the effects of prism adaptation on the neural networks underlying attention, and spatial and verbal working memory in patients with right hemispheric damage and in control subjects.
Ultimately, the knowledge gained from this project will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms and effects of PA, and to a more specific application of PA therapy. Considering the high prevalence of persistent cognitive deficits in stroke patients, it is important to determine if a wider portion of brain damage patients can benefit from this non-invasive, non-expensive and easy to use method.