Remembering 1500 pictures: The right hemisphere remembers better than the left

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Abstract

We hypothesized that the right hemisphere would be superior to the left hemisphere in remembering having seen a specific picture before, given its superiority in perceptually encoding specific aspects of visual form. A large set of pictures (N = 1500) of animals, human faces, artifacts, landscapes, and art paintings were shown for 2 s in central vision, or tachistoscopically (for 100 ms) in each half visual field, to normal participants who were then tested 1–6 days later for their recognition. Images that were presented initially to the right hemisphere were better recognized than those presented to the left hemisphere. These results, obtained with participants with intact brains, large number of stimuli, and long retention delays, are consistent with previously described hemispheric differences in the memory of split-brain patients.

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