A hemispheric division of labor aids mental rotation

Kazuhito Yoshizaki, Daniel H. Weissman, Marie T. Banich
2007 Neuropsychology  
In the present study, we investigated whether a hemispheric division of labor is most advantageous to performance when lateralized inputs place unequal resource demands on the left and right cerebral hemispheres. In each trial, participants decided whether 2 rotated letters, presented either in the same visual field (within-field trials) or in opposite visual fields (across-field trials), were both of normal orientation, or whether one was normal and the other was mirror-reversed. To
more » ... e a letter's orientation, one must rotate the letter to the upright position. Therefore, we manipulated whether the two letters imposed similar or dissimilar demands on cognitive resources by varying the number of degrees that each letter needed to be rotated to reach the upright position. As predicted, in 2 experiments we found that the across-field advantage increased as the number of degrees each letter needed to be rotated became more dissimilar. These findings support a current model of hemispheric interactions, which posits that an unequal hemispheric distribution of cognitive load allows the cerebral hemispheres to take the lead for different aspects of cognitive processing.
doi:10.1037/0894-4105.21.3.326 pmid:17484596 fatcat:2la3f7kodrcfbfge5wmbionzla