What Is One-Sided Neglect?

When a stroke occurs on one side of the brain, it can lead to one-sided neglect on the opposite side of the body. During one-sided neglect, you forget to attend to your affected half – and sometimes everything on that half of your world.

What One-Sided Neglect Feels and Looks Like

One-sided neglect is not limited to your body. Stroke survivors with severe one-sided neglect can unconsciously neglect that side of many other things. Some examples are only eating one side of your plate (because you don’t recognize the other half) and bumping into objects on that side of the body when navigating around.

Areas That One-Sided Neglect Affects

To further define what one-sided neglect looks and feels like, the condition can be broken down into 3 levels:

  • Personal space, including your body
  • Peripersonal space, including everything within arm’s reach (*most common)
  • Extrapersonal space, including everything that goes beyond arm’s reach

Those with personal space one-sided neglect might forget to brush the left side of their hair or dress the left side of their body. Survivors with peripersonal one-sided neglect might not see you if you’re on their affected side; and extrapersonal one-sided neglect might cause you to bump into objects on your neglected side. Wperipersonal and extrapersonal one-sided neglect is more severe, these survivors will usually recover faster than personal space one-sided neglect.