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It has been shown that the left and right cerebral hemispheres (LH and RH) respectively process qualitative or "categorical" spatial relations and metric or "coordinate" spatial relations. However, categorical spatial information could be thought as divided into two types: semantically-coded and visuospatially-coded categorical information. We examined whether a LH's advantage in processing semantic-categorical information is observed in a non-verbal format, and also whether semantic- and visuospatial-categorical processing are differentially lateralized. We manipulated the colors and positions of the standard traffic light sign as semantic- and visuospatial-categorical information respectively, and tested performance with the divided visual field method. In the semantic-categorical matching task, in which the participants judged if the semantic-categorical information of a successive cue and target was the same, a right visual field advantage was observed, suggesting a LH's preference for processing semantic-categorical information in a non-verbal format. In the visuospatial-categorical matching task, in which the participants judged if the visuospatial-categorical information of a successive cue and target was identical, a left visual field advantage was obtained. These results suggest that the processing of semantic-categorical information is lateralized in LH, and we discuss the dissociation between the two types of categorical information. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Takashi Suegami, Bruno Laeng. A left cerebral hemisphere's superiority in processing spatial-categorical information in a non-verbal semantic format. Brain and cognition. 2013 Mar;81(2):294-302

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PMID: 23290044

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