Lateralization of pragmatic processsing : a visual half-field investigation of speech act processing

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Weywadt, Christina R.
Holtgraves, Thomas
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Psychological Science
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The current study utilized a priming paradigm in conjunction with a visual halffield presentation to determine if the right hemisphere contributes to pragmatic processing. Primes included conversational dialogues that either performed a speech act or did not. The targets identified the speech act and were presented to one of the two visual fields (lvf-RH or rvf-LH). It was hypothesized that the right visual field-left hemisphere (rvf-LH) would be more accurate and faster at identifying targets regardless of the script type that preceded it and the left visual field-right hemisphere (lvf-RH) would be significantly more accurate and faster at identifying targets when preceded by a script that performed the identified speech act. Results indicated that the lvf-RH was more accurate and faster at identifying a target regardless of the type of script that preceded it, while the rvf-LH was differentially affected by the type of script.