Looking Glass Syndrome Essay

979 words - 4 pages

The suddenly stop in blood flow to the brain from strokes can result in varying degrees of damage to the brain as seen a patient Ellen. Post stroke, Ellen ate only from the right side of her plate and will only dress and put makeup her right side. She completely neglects her left side of her body and external world. This condition is a common neurological syndrome called hemi-neglect seen in post right brain stroke patients like Ellen, especially affecting the right parietal lobe. These patients often manifest sets of odd behaviors. They report not seeing anything on their left side, but are not blind and can receive visual input from both eyes. Sometimes they even notice things in their ...view middle of the document...

When they tested this again and placed the pen in her right visual field, she was able to recognize that pen was behind her, and her hand went towards the physical object and not the reflection. The right brain damage somehow caused patients like Ellen to believe that the pen is inside the mirror, an interesting condition called looking glass syndrome.
The main issue with patients with looking glass syndrome is that they fail to realize the location of the visual object. There is no apparent problem in eyes of these patients, but when the visual input travels higher up to area of brain damage, it distorts the conscious visual image that hemi-neglect patient sees. Visual input first strikes the lens in the eye and the image is reflected to the back of the retina where the photoreceptors are, detecting color, details and light intensity. The visual input is then transmitted through the optic nerve to the thalamus and superior colliculus. Input from the right eye is transmitted to the left brain and vice versa. Afterwards, the information is sent to occipital lobe in the cerebral cortex, the lobe for visual processing. From the occipital lobe, the information is sent via the dorsal stream to the parietal lobe and via the ventral stream to the temporal lobe. For hemi-neglect patients, visual input follow the same routes as any other individual until it reaches the parietal lobe. The stroke damages the right parietal lobe. The parietal lobe processes spatial relations, locations of objects, and position of objects relative to body location. Because of this damage, the patients fail to realize the location of the pen as not in the mirror but behind them. The damage makes the patients think the pen is in or behind the mirror since they are unable...

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