Information processing in the cerebral hemispheres: Selective hemispheric activation and capacity limitations

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Previous experiments found that concurrently maintaining verbal information in memory influences visual laterality patterns. The present article reviews existing studies and reports 5 additional experiments (434 undergraduate Ss) designed to identify the mechanisms responsible for such effects. Exp I demonstrated that laterality patterns were not influenced by a concurrent memory task that did not require verbal processing. (The verbal nature of the concurrent task was an important aspect of previous experiments.) Exps II and III were designed to determine whether concurrent verbal memory primarily influences early visuospatial processes or later processes such as those involved in visuospatial memory. Results suggest that concurrent verbal memory influences stages of processing beyond the initial registration of visuospatial information. Exps IV and V examined the influence of concurrent verbal memory on verbal laterality tasks. Results show that concurrent verbal memory influences processing stages beyond those that are common to the form-pair and letter-pair tasks. Neither directness-of-pathway nor attention-gradient laterality models can explain the entire pattern of results from the present experiments. Results suggest that the left hemisphere functions as a typical limited-capacity information processing system that can be influenced somewhat separately from the right hemisphere system. (65 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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