Right away: a late, right-lateralized category effect complements an early, left-lateralized category effect in visual search

Constable, Merryn D. and Becker, Stefanie I. (2017) Right away: a late, right-lateralized category effect complements an early, left-lateralized category effect in visual search. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 5 1: 1-9. doi:10.3758/s13423-017-1246-3


Author Constable, Merryn D.
Becker, Stefanie I.
Title Right away: a late, right-lateralized category effect complements an early, left-lateralized category effect in visual search
Journal name Psychonomic Bulletin and Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1531-5320
1069-9384
Publication date 2017-03-27
Year available 2000
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3758/s13423-017-1246-3
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 5
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Springer New York LLC
Language eng
Subject 3205 Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
3204 Developmental and Educational Psychology
1201 Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Abstract According to the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, learned semantic categories can influence early perceptual processes. A central finding in support of this view is the lateralized category effect—namely, the finding that categorically different colors (e.g., blue and green hues) can be discriminated faster than colors within the same color category (e.g., different hues of green), especially when they are presented in the right visual field. Because the right visual field projects to the left hemisphere, this finding has been popularly couched in terms of the left-lateralization of language. However, other studies have reported bilateral category effects, which has led some researchers to question the linguistic origins of the effect. Here we examined the time course of lateralized and bilateral category effects in the classical visual search paradigm by means of eyetracking and RT distribution analyses. Our results show a bilateral category effect in the manual responses, which is combined of an early, left-lateralized category effect and a later, right-lateralized category effect. The newly discovered late, right-lateralized category effect occurred only when observers had difficulty locating the target, indicating a specialization of the right hemisphere to find categorically different targets after an initial error. The finding that early and late stages of visual search show different lateralized category effects can explain a wide range of previously discrepant findings.
Formatted abstract
According to the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, learned semantic categories can influence early perceptual processes. A central finding in support of this view is the lateralized category effect—namely, the finding that categorically different colors (e.g., blue and green hues) can be discriminated faster than colors within the same color category (e.g., different hues of green), especially when they are presented in the right visual field. Because the right visual field projects to the left hemisphere, this finding has been popularly couched in terms of the left-lateralization of language. However, other studies have reported bilateral category effects, which has led some researchers to question the linguistic origins of the effect. Here we examined the time course of lateralized and bilateral category effects in the classical visual search paradigm by means of eyetracking and RT distribution analyses. Our results show a bilateral category effect in the manual responses, which is combined of an early, left-lateralized category effect and a later, right-lateralized category effect. The newly discovered late, right-lateralized category effect occurred only when observers had difficulty locating the target, indicating a specialization of the right hemisphere to find categorically different targets after an initial error. The finding that early and late stages of visual search show different lateralized category effects can explain a wide range of previously discrepant findings.
Keyword Categorical perception
Category effect
Eye movements
Sapir–Whorf hypothesis
Visual search
Whorfian effect
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID DP170102559
FT130101282
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Psychology Publications
 
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