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Accuracy and reaction time (RT) of judgments about sameness vs. difference of (a) names of two letters and (b) shapes of two nonverbal forms were examined for stimuli presented to the center, left (LVF), and right (RVF) visual fields. For same-name letter pairs during Experiment I, responses were more accurate and faster for LVF than for RVF trials on an initial 90-trial block, but this difference was reversed by a third 90-trial block. The RVF advantage for RT was maintained over Trial Blocks 4 and 5, given during a second session, but had disappeared on Trial Blocks 6 through 9 as RT reached the same asymptotic level for both visual fields. No LVF-RVF differences were obtained at any level of practice for different-name letter pairs or for any of the form pairs. Experiment II replicated the shift from LVF toward RVF advantage that occurred over the first three trial blocks of Experiment I and demonstrated that such a shift does not occur when the letters are perceptually degraded. The results were discussed in terms of differences in cerebral hemisphere specialization for visuospatial vs. abstract stages of letter processing and changes with practice in the relative difficulty of these stages.

Recommended Citation

Hellige, J.B. Changes in same-different laterality patterns as a function of practice and stimulus quality.Perception & Psychophysics 20, 267–273 (1976).

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