Suegami, T. and Laeng, B.

A left cerebral hemisphere's superiority in processing
spatial-categorical information in a non-verbal semantic format.

Brain and Cognition



It has been shown that the left and right cerebral hemispheres (LH and
RH) respectively process qualita- tive or ''categorical'' spatial
relations and metric or ''coordinate'' spatial relations. However,
categorical spatial information could be thought as divided into two
types: semantically-coded and visuospatially- coded categorical
information. We examined whether a LH's advantage in processing
semantic-categor- ical information is observed in a non-verbal format,
and also whether semantic- and visuospatial-cate- gorical processing
are differentially lateralized. We manipulated the colors and
positions of the standard traffic light sign as semantic- and
visuospatial-categorical information respectively, and tested
performance with the divided visual field method. In the
semantic-categorical matching task, in which the participants judged
if the semantic-categorical information of a successive cue and target
was the same, a right visual field advantage was observed, suggesting
a LH's preference for processing seman- tic-categorical information in
a non-verbal format. In the visuospatial-categorical matching task, in
which the participants judged if the visuospatial-categorical
information of a successive cue and target was identical, a left
visual field advantage was obtained. These results suggest that the
processing of seman- tic-categorical information is lateralized in LH,
and we discuss the dissociation between the two types of categorical

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