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J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 1989 Nov;15(4):723-35.

Evidence for two types of spatial representations: hemispheric specialization for categorical and coordinate relations.

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Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


Analyses of human object recognition abilities led to the hypothesis that 2 kinds of spatial relation representations are used in human vision. Evidence for the distinction between abstract categorical spatial relation representations and specific coordinate spatial relation representations was provided in 4 experiments. These results indicate that Ss make categorical judgments--on/off, left/right, and above/below--faster when stimuli are initially presented to the left cerebral hemisphere, whereas they make evaluations of distance--in relation to 2 mm, 3 mm, or 1 in. (2.54 cm)--faster when stimuli are initially presented to the right cerebral hemisphere. In addition, there was evidence that categorical representations developed with practice.

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