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Dorsal Stream Contributions to Perceptual Asymmetries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 December 2011

Nicole A. Thomas*
School of Psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
Oliver Schneider
Department of Computer Science, University of British Colombia, Vancouver, British Columbia
Carl Gutwin
Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Lorin J. Elias
Department of Psychology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Correspondence and reprint requests to: Nicole A. Thomas, School of Psychology, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, SA 5001 Australia. E-mail:


Neurologically normal individuals show a bias toward the left side of space, referred to as pseudoneglect due to its similarity to clinical hemispatial neglect. The left bias appears to be stronger in the lower visual field during free-viewing, which could result from preferential dorsal stream processing. The current experiments used modified greyscales tasks, incorporating motion and isoluminant color, to explore whether targeting dorsal or ventral stream processing influenced the strength of the left bias. It was expected that the left bias would be stronger on the motion task than on a task incorporating isoluminant color. In Study 1, similar left biases were observed during prolonged viewing for luminance, motion and red, but not green color. The unexpected finding of a leftward bias for red under prolonged viewing was replicated in Study 2. A leftward bias for motion was also evident during 150 ms viewing in Study 2. In Study 3, the left bias was not apparent when using a blue/yellow condition, suggesting the left bias for red under prolonged viewing was likely unique to red. Furthermore, the leftward bias for red disappeared under brief viewing conditions. It is suggested that dorsal stream processing likely underlies visual field differences in pseudoneglect. (JINS, 2012, 18, 251–259)

Research Articles
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2011

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