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Acta Neurobiol Exp (Wars). 1996;56(1):485-97.

Hemispheric asymmetry for visual information processing.

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Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90089-1061, USA.


The left and right hemispheres of humans do not handle all aspects of visual information processing with equal ability. This is illustrated by a review of research concerning the processing of global versus local stimulus properties, low versus high spatial frequencies, and coordinate versus categorical spatial relationships. In general, the right hemisphere is dominant for processing global aspects of visual stimuli that are carried by low spatial frequencies, for the processing of coordinate spatial relationships and, perhaps, for extracting information from the magnocellular visual pathway. In something of a complementary manner, the left hemisphere is dominant for processing local aspects of visual stimuli that are carried by high spatial frequencies and, perhaps, for processing categorical spatial relationships and for extracting information from parvocellular visual pathway. Consideration is given to developmental mechanisms that may underlie the emergence of hemispheric asymmetry for these interrelated aspects of visual information processing.

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