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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Automatic and attentionally controlled processing in the cerebral hemispheres Eglin, Susan Mirjam

Abstract

The thesis describes research investigating differences between the two hemispheres in automatic and in attentionally controlled processes. It is suggested that the interaction between these two processes may be a source of hemispheric differences. Three different paradigms that each imply different definitions of automatic and attentionally controlled processes are used: A paradigm used to demonstrate illusory conjunctions, a modified priming paradigm and a modified Stroop-task. Converging evidence from all three paradigms indicates that automatic processes are common to both hemispheres. Lateral asymmetries only emerge in attentional effects. For verbal information, selective attention mechanisms in the left hemisphere are found to be selective for left hemisphere items only, whereas right hemisphere mechanisms are sensitive to information from both hemispheres. The right hemisphere appears to be able to give some automatic support to attended verbal processing in the left hemisphere, while the reverse seems to be more difficult.

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