Hemispheric asymmetries in recognition memory for negative and neutral words

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Hemispheric asymmetries in recognition memory for negative and neutral words

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Title: Hemispheric asymmetries in recognition memory for negative and neutral words
Author: Oliveira, Jorge; Gamito, Pedro; Perea, Maria; Ladera, Valentina; Morais, Diogo; Rosa, Pedro J.; Saraiva, Tomaz
Abstract: Federmeier and Benjamin (2005) have suggested that semantic encoding for verbal information in the right hemisphere can be more effective when memory demands are higher. However, other studies (Kanske & Kotz, 2007) also suggest that visual word recognition differ in function of emotional valence. In this context, the present study was designed to evaluate the effects of retention level upon recognition memory processes for negative and neutral words. Sample consisted of 15 right-handed undergraduate portuguese students with normal or corrected to normal vision. Portuguese concrete negative and neutral words were selected in accordance to known linguistic capabilities of the right hemisphere. The participants were submitted to a visual half-field word presentation using a continuous recognition memory paradigm. Eye movements were continuously monitored with a Tobii T60 eye-tracker that showed no significant differences in fixations to negative and neutral words. Reaction times in word recognition suggest an overall advantage of negative words in comparison to the neutral words. Further analysis showed faster responses for negative words than for neutral words when were recognised at longer retention intervals for left-hemisphere encoding. Electrophysiological data through event related potentials revealed larger P2 amplitude over centro-posterior electrode sites for words studied in the left hemifield suggesting a priming effect for right-hemisphere encoding. Overall data suggest different hemispheric memory strategies for the semantic encoding of negative and neutral words.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10437/2298
Date: 2011


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