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ERIC Number: ED184153
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Cerebral Asymmetry for Aspects of Language Processing.
Shedletsky, Leonard J.
In a previous study, subjects that heard a monaurally presented two-clause sentence immediately followed by a probe word (identical word recognition) were faster at recognizing the probe as a sentence word with their left ears than with their right ears. This result suggested that the right ear was particularly efficient at transforming linguistic, auditory stimuli into an abstract representation of meaning. In a replication of this earlier study, 20 college students completed either the task for identical word recognition or a task requiring semantic matching (saying a synonym). As predicted, the structural task produced a left ear advantage similar to the earlier results, while the semantic task produced a right ear advantage. Right/left ear reaction times varied as a function of both task and the position of the target word. Right ear responses exhibited particular difficulty with recognizing words in initial clauses, while the reaction times between the left and right ears for initial clauses did not differ in the synonym task. Left and right ear reaction times were similar for recognizing words in final clauses; but the left ear was significantly slower than the right ear in the semantic matching of target words in final clauses. These ear differences support the view that the human brain is functionally symmetrical for language processing functions. (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (Portland, OR, February 16-20, 1980)