Attention and visual dysfunction in Parkinson's disease

Hugo Botha, Jonathan Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Visual processing extends from the retinal level to the ventral temporal lobe, and is modified by top-down and bottom-up processing. Complex visual hallucinations (VH) are commonly a feature of disorders which affect temporal lobe structures, frequently in association with impairment of ascending monoaminergic pathways. When Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with VH, pathological changes characteristically affect the temporal lobes, a finding which is recapitulated by imaging findings. However, a major association of VH is with cognitive decline, and this is typically linked to deficits in attention and working memory, both of which are modulated by dopamine. Similarly, dopamine plays a crucial role in the function of prefrontal cortex, in addition to controlling access to consciousness via gating mechanisms that are dependent on the basal ganglia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-747
Number of pages6
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Attention
  • Dopamine
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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