A series of two meetings aims at discussing the psychological and neural mechanisms involved in the organization of perception and action in human subjects. It has been shown that the internal representation of space involved in these processes is not a unitary system but includes a number of discrete components. Accordingly, disturbances of different aspects of these processes can be observed following brain lesions. Hemispatial neglect, extinction, optic ataxia and agnosia all serve as pathological models to explore selective impairments of visual perception and the visual control of action, and allow us to drow inferences as to their functional and neural organization.
The first meeting will focus on spatial neglect and extinction while the second meeting will examine on a broad front the progress and prospects of research, on both healthy and brain-damaged human subjects, into the ways in which bodily movements are controlled and guided by visual information. It will also evaluate the contribution of nonhuman studies of the neural substrates of visuomotor control. Planning this in a European context is highly appropriate, given the lead which European laboratories have already given in these areas. In exploring themes contributed from behavioural, neuropsychological, neurophysiological and functional neuro-imaging studies, the meetings will in part serve as a forum to digest the progress that has been made thus far in our understanding of the neural mechanisms involved in perception and action.