We carried out three experiments with the aim of verifying a critical assumption of Kinsbourne's (Acta Psychol., 33 (1970), 193-201; Attention and Performance V, London: Academic press, (1975), pp. 81-96) 'dynamic' attentional hypothesis of hemispheric asymmetries, namely, that asymmetries arise only when subjects know in advance what type of stimulus and/or cognitive mode they are about to be engaged with. We used a paradigm modified from Posner (J. Exp. Psychol., 109 (1980), 160-174) to study the effects of non-spatial 'cognitive' cueing on hemispheric asymmetries using a lexical decision and a visuo-spatial discrimination task (acute vs. obtuse angles). While we did not find significant overall hemispheric asymmetries with the spatial material, we found a consistent advantage of the left hemisphere in the lexical decision task. In Experiment 2 where the cue was presented in central vision and only the stimuli were lateralised and in Experiment 3 where both cue and stimuli were lateralised to the same hemisphere, the left hemisphere advantage did not interact with the effect of cueing. In contrast, in Experiment 4, where only the cue was lateralised and the stimuli were centrally presented, the left hemisphere advantage in the lexical decision task emerged only following invalid cueing. While the results of Experiments 2 and 3 are not in keeping with Kinsbourne's hypothesis, the result of Experiment 4 shows that some pre-exposural mechanisms may indeed affect the emergence of hemispheric asymmetries. A differential susceptibility in 'disengaging' from the processing mode induced by an invalid cue might represent another interesting example of hemispheric difference.

Can expectancy influence hemispheric asymmetries?

MARZI, Carlo Alberto
2001-01-01

Abstract

We carried out three experiments with the aim of verifying a critical assumption of Kinsbourne's (Acta Psychol., 33 (1970), 193-201; Attention and Performance V, London: Academic press, (1975), pp. 81-96) 'dynamic' attentional hypothesis of hemispheric asymmetries, namely, that asymmetries arise only when subjects know in advance what type of stimulus and/or cognitive mode they are about to be engaged with. We used a paradigm modified from Posner (J. Exp. Psychol., 109 (1980), 160-174) to study the effects of non-spatial 'cognitive' cueing on hemispheric asymmetries using a lexical decision and a visuo-spatial discrimination task (acute vs. obtuse angles). While we did not find significant overall hemispheric asymmetries with the spatial material, we found a consistent advantage of the left hemisphere in the lexical decision task. In Experiment 2 where the cue was presented in central vision and only the stimuli were lateralised and in Experiment 3 where both cue and stimuli were lateralised to the same hemisphere, the left hemisphere advantage did not interact with the effect of cueing. In contrast, in Experiment 4, where only the cue was lateralised and the stimuli were centrally presented, the left hemisphere advantage in the lexical decision task emerged only following invalid cueing. While the results of Experiments 2 and 3 are not in keeping with Kinsbourne's hypothesis, the result of Experiment 4 shows that some pre-exposural mechanisms may indeed affect the emergence of hemispheric asymmetries. A differential susceptibility in 'disengaging' from the processing mode induced by an invalid cue might represent another interesting example of hemispheric difference.
Lexical decision; Angle width discrimination; Cueing; Hemispheric differences
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/304852
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