Comment on “Information processing in the cerebral hemispheres: Selective activation and capacity limitations“ by Hellige, Cox, and Litvac

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Reviews the attentional model of hemisphere differences proposed by M. Kinsbourne (see record 1970-17862-001) and the attempts of J. B. Hellige et al (see record 1977-00175-001) to clarify the model. With respect to Kinsbourne's work, the difficulty of distinguishing shifts in the allocation of attention from changes of strategy is underlined, and the fact that the effect of imposing a concurrent memory load is uncertain is seen as seriously limiting the predictive power of the model. In the Hellige et al studies, concurrent verbal loads produced complex and variable changes in the performance of both hemispheres. They postulated a dual mechanism whereby general activation primes the performance of both hemispheres, while selective activation primes or depresses the performance of the left hemisphere. Although they identified some factors that govern the effects of selective activation, the effects of general activation are uncertain, so the overall outcome of concurrent memory loading is still difficult to predict. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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