A critical boundary to the left-hemisphere advantage in visual-word processing

Rebecca G. Deason, Chad J. Marsolek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Two experiments explored boundary conditions for the ubiquitous left-hemisphere advantage in visual-word recognition. Subjects perceptually identified words presented directly to the left or right hemisphere. Strong left-hemisphere advantages were observed for UPPERCASE and lowercase words. However, only a weak effect was observed for AlTeRnAtInG-cAsE words, and a numerical reversal of the typical left-hemisphere advantage was observed for words in a visual prototype font (a very unfamiliar word format). Results support the theory that dissociable abstract and specific neural subsystems underlie visual-form recognition and fail to support the theory that a visual lexicon operates in the left hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-261
Number of pages11
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the Center for Cognitive Sciences, University of Minnesota, and the National Institute of Health and Human Development (HD-07151). We sincerely thank Marivelisse Rodriguez, Craig Roelke, and Charla Weiss for valuable assistance with data collection and analysis. Portions of this report will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco (2004).


  • Case alternation
  • Categories
  • Exemplars
  • Functional hemispheric asymmetries
  • Letter case
  • Word recognition


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