Interhemispheric communication during face processing

Baird, Lyndsay (2009) Interhemispheric communication during face processing. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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It is widely acknowledged that the cerebral hemispheres do not operate in isolation during the processing of complex visual stimuli. Patterns of interhemispheric communication are believed to be integral to cognitive abilities yet despite this, both the circumstances under which communication takes and the nature of the information that can be communicated remain relatively poorly understood. The experiments in this thesis address the nature of interhemispheric communication during the processing of face and identity information using a range of divided visual field paradigms. The first line of enquiry explored the nature of identity information that can be communicated interhemispherically. Specifically, the aim was to establish whether abstract identity driven collaboration could be achieved with stimuli denoting the same concept or if cross-hemispheric communication is restricted to more low-level, stimulus driven interactions. Further studies examined the impact of task difficulty on interhemispheric communication and whether dividing identity related cognitive processing between both hemispheres was more beneficial to performance than constraining to one. The main findings indicate that both conceptual identity information and superficial image characteristics can be communicated across the hemispheres for familiar but not unfamiliar faces. Results of enquiries into the benefits of dividing processing between the hemispheres were somewhat inconclusive leading to an exploration of the impact of capacity limits for face processing on the experimental paradigm. Evidence that interhemispheric communication may occur asymmetrically in the direction of right hemisphere to left hemisphere was also obtained. Findings are discussed within the context of existing literature and theories examining the processes of interhemispheric communication.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Face perception, interhemispheric communication, perception, visual cognition
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Supervisor's Name: Burton, Professor A. Mike
Date of Award: 2009
Depositing User: Ms Lyndsay Baird
Unique ID: glathesis:2009-1295
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2009
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:37

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