Understanding Consciousness: The Case of Hemispatial Neglect

The Case of P.S.

Imagine waking up one day and realizing that you are completely unaware of everything on your left side. This was the reality for P.S., a patient who suffered a stroke and developed hemispatial neglect. Despite this, her brain was still processing information from her whole field of vision. This fascinating case challenges our understanding of consciousness and the brain's processing of information.

Consciousness and Processing of Information

One of the most intriguing aspects of P.S.'s condition is the distinction between the brain's processing of information and our experience of that processing, known as consciousness. While her brain was still receiving and processing visual information from her left side, she was not consciously aware of it. This raises important questions about the nature of consciousness and how it relates to the brain's activities.

The Imperfect Picture Theory

One theory suggests that consciousness is the brain's imperfect picture of its own activity. In the case of P.S., her brain was processing information from her left side, but her conscious experience did not reflect this processing. This challenges the traditional view of consciousness as a direct reflection of the brain's activities and opens up new avenues for research and exploration.

Using MRI Studies to Understand Consciousness

Scientists are using MRI studies to delve deeper into the mechanisms of consciousness. By pinpointing the networks involved in consciousness and understanding how the brain creates a self model, researchers hope to gain valuable insights into the nature of consciousness and its relationship to the brain's processing of information.


The case of P.S. and her hemispatial neglect offers a unique window into the complexities of consciousness and the brain's processing of information. By studying such cases and using advanced imaging techniques, we are gradually unraveling the mysteries of consciousness and gaining a deeper understanding of the intricate workings of the human brain.

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