Poster C120, Sunday, March 25, 1:00-3:00 pm, Exhibit Hall C
The Interhemispheric Relationship Between Chaos and Rigidity in Processing Global and Local Textual Information
Scott Wittman1, Shelby Smith1, Kristin Ritchey1, Caleb Robinson1, April Mullen1, Charles Jackson1, Stephanie Simon-Dack1; 1Ball State University
Both hemispheres of the brain serve different purposes in processing the meaning of language. Thus, semantic processing occurs on a cognitive continuum. A lexicon with low connectivity results in a heavy reliance on rigid, left hemispheric processing, whereas a lexicon with high connectivity results in a heavy reliance on chaotic, right hemispheric processing (Faust & Kennett, 2014). Semantically, humans need to be able to adjust their level of processing so as not to inhibit understanding of creative language (i.e., chaos) or conventional language (i.e., rigidity). The current study was designed to examine hemispheric contributions toward rigid semantic processing with respect to global and local processing and the role of interhemispheric transfer. For the current study, 47 participants completed a lateralized hierarchical letters task and a global lexical decision task in which participants read a target sentence followed by five unrelated filler sentences and a subsequently presented congruently or incongruently related word. Results demonstrated a correlation between reaction time identifying local features from congruent hierarchical letters presented in the left visual field and reaction time to reading words incongruent with the target sentence, r(47) = .35, p < .02. We speculate that our results are related to interhemispheric transfer, in that individuals whom rely more heavily on right hemispheric, or chaotic, semantic processing take longer to transfer information to the left hemisphere for further conventional processing.
Topic Area: LANGUAGE: Lexicon