The effect of presentation procedure on behavioural measures of hemispheric specialisation

Hansen, Louise, Graham, Deborah, and Cottrell, David (2012) The effect of presentation procedure on behavioural measures of hemispheric specialisation. In: International Journal of Psychology (47), p. 371. From: XXX International Congress of Psychology, 22-27 July 2012, Cape Town, South Africa.

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Abstract

The dichotic listening paradigm is the dominant behavioural procedure for measuring hemispheric specialisation in the processing of auditory stimuli. This dominance has been achieved without a direct comparison of presentation procedures. In the studies reported here we compared monaural, dichotic and the distractor noise presentation procedures on the same task using the same target stimuli. The stimuli were simple tonal and atonal melodies and the task was to make an affective ("Is the melody pleasant/unpleasant?") or musical ("Is the melody in-key/out of key?") judgement. Significant ear advantages emerged as a function of presentation condition and melody duration. When the stimuli were relatively brief (850 ms) response times differed between the left and right ear in the affective monaural listening task. Reponses were quickest for pleasant melodies presented to the right ear and slowest for unpleasant melodies to the same ear supporting the notion that positive and negative emotions are differentially processed in the two cerebral hemispheres of the human brain. However, when longer versions of the same melodies (2200ms) were appraised, response times were quickest for both pleasant and unpleasant melodies presented to the left ear in the dichotic listening task. This left ear advantage is consistent with the majority of dichotic listening tasks that provide evidence for the right hemisphere's role in processing all emotions. Given that ear asymmetries depend on stimulus duration and what is being presented in the unattended ear, we question the assumption that dichotic listening tasks reliably measure hemispheric differences in emotional processing.

Item ID: 22536
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
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International Journal of Psychology, Volume 47, Supplement 1, 2012 Special Issue: XXX International Congress of Psychology

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ISSN: 1464-066X
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2012 02:49
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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