Inhibition of return in children with perinatal brain injury

Jeffrey Schatz, Suzanne Craft, Desiree White, T. S. Park, Gary S. Figiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Inhibition of return is a bias in attention that reduces the likelihood of returning attention to previously viewed locations. This attention bias develops during the first 6 months of life and is putatively mediated by midbrain structures. The present study evaluated the effects of perinatal lesions on the development of inhibition of return. Thirty-three children with perinatal injury resulting in spastic diplegic cerebral palsy were grouped based on magnetic resonance exams. Children with anterior (n=5), posterior (n=12), diffuse (n=8), or no apparent (n= 8) lesions were compared with a group of age-matched children without neurologic injury (n = 39) on an orienting task designed to elicit inhibition of return. Short-delay trials demonstrated grossly intact facilitation of attention for all groups. Long-delay trials that produced inhibition of return in the control and posterior injury groups indicated a disruption of inhibition of return in the group with anterior and diffuse lesions. The findings are consistent with previous reports that anterior regions are important for the developing attention system, and that bilateral injury can result in unilateral disruption of visual attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 24 2001


  • Attention
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cognitive
  • Visual processing


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