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Hemispheric asymmetries in face priming
MOUCHLIANITIS, E. & HENSON, R.N.A.
Experimental Psychology Society Meeting - January 2008
Year of publication:
Previous research using the divided visual-field methodology has led to the suggestion that dissociable neural systems support view-independent (VI) and view-dependent (VD) visual object processing in left and right hemispheres respectively (Burgund & Marsolek, 2000). More specifically, stimuli presented to the left visual-field (right hemisphere) show greater priming when prime and probe are from the same view than a different view, whereas stimuli presented to the right visual-field (left hemisphere) typically show priming that generalises across view. However, previous experiments have tended to use words or nameable objects, suggesting that the well-known left hemisphere dominance for verbalisable stimuli may contribute to these effects. We tested this possibility by comparing priming for famous and non-famous (novel) faces across viewpoints as a function of hemifield. In Experiment 1, using long lag priming and only famous faces, a significant view-by-hemisphere interaction was found, with greater generalisation across different views in the left hemisphere, consistent with previous experiments. In Experiment 2 however, using short-lag priming and both famous and non-famous faces, this interaction was not replicated, nor was it replicated in Experiment 3 that used non-famous faces only. Across all experiments, there was a consistent right-hemisphere advantage for face processing, as shown by increased accuracy and faster RTs in the unprimed condition. These results suggest that verbal (or semantic) components may explain some of the hemifield effects that have been used to support the dissociable neural systems theory.