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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/350

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Title: The valence-specific laterality effect in free viewing conditions: the influence of sex, handedness, and response bias
Authors: Rodway, Paul
Wright, Lynn
Hardie, Scott M.
Affiliation: University of Abertay Dundee. School of Social and Health Sciences
Keywords: Hemisphere
Valence
Laterality
Response bias
Handedness
Sex
Issue Date: Dec-2003
Publisher: Elsevier
Type: Journal Article
Refereed: peer-reviewed
Rights: Published version (c)Elsevier, available from DOI: 10.1016/S0278-2626(03)00217-3
Citation: Rodway, P., Wright, L. and Hardie, S. 2003. The valence-specific laterality effect in free viewing conditions: the influence of sex, handedness, and response bias. Brain and Cognition. 53(3): pp.452-463. Available from: DOI: 10.1016/S0278-2626(03)00217-3
Abstract: The right hemisphere has often been viewed as having a dominant role in the processing of emotional information. Other evidence indicates that both hemispheres process emotional information but their involvement is valence specific, with the right hemisphere dealing with negative emotions and the left hemisphere preferentially processing positive emotions. This has been found under both restricted ([Reuter-Lorenz and Davidson, 1981]) and free viewing conditions ( [Jansari et al., 2000]). It remains unclear whether the valence-specific laterality effect is also sex specific or is influenced by the handedness of participants. To explore this issue we repeated Jansari et al.’s free-viewing laterality task with 78 participants. We found a valence-specific laterality effect in women but not men, with women discriminating negative emotional expressions more accurately when the face was presented on the left-hand side and discriminating positive emotions more accurately when those faces were presented on the right-hand side. These results indicate that under free viewing conditions women are more lateralised for the processing of facial emotion than are men. Handedness did not affect the lateralised processing of facial emotion. Finally, participants demonstrated a response bias on control trials, where facial emotion did not differ between the faces. Participants selected the left-hand side more frequently when they believed the expression was negative and the right-hand side more frequently when they believed the expression was positive. This response bias can cause a spurious valence-specific laterality effect which might have contributed to the conflicting findings within the literature.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10373/350
ISSN: 0278-2626
Appears in Collections:Social & Health Sciences Collection

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