Cerebral hemispheric asymmetries in visual processing: How visual processing strategies influence person perception

James DeWitt Sanders, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Three experiments were conducted to test the theoretical distinctions between the types of perceptual processing employed by the right and left cerebral hemispheres, and the mental representations that emerge as a consequence of this processing. Each study is predicated on the assumption that the hemispheres are more efficient at applying distinct visual processing strategies. Specifically, the right hemisphere is more efficient at holistic visual processing that mediates the construction of exemplar-based mental representations. In contrast, the left hemisphere is more efficient at part-based visual processing that mediates the construction of category-based menial representations. Study 1 investigated hemispheric asymmetries in relation to the mere exposure effect for photographs depicting individual faces. Study 2 investigated the ability of the hemispheres to perform same-person and same-gender categorizations. Study 3 investigated hemispheric asymmetries in categorizing individuals into newly learned groups. Collectively, the three experiments provide evidence that the hemispheres are more efficient at applying distinct visual processing strategies (i.e., holistic or part-based in the right and left hemisphere, respectively). Furthermore, these processing strategies support the construction of distinct exemplar or category mental representations. Implications for models of recognition, categorization, and impression formation are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Psychobiology|Psychology, Social|Psychology, Cognitive

Recommended Citation

Sanders, James DeWitt, "Cerebral hemispheric asymmetries in visual processing: How visual processing strategies influence person perception" (1999). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI9947584.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI9947584

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