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Neuropsychologia. 1998 Sep;36(9):827-35.

Sentence context and lexical ambiguity resolution by the two hemispheres.

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Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-gan, Israel.


A lexical decision experiment investigated hemisphere asymmetries in resolving lexical ambiguity within a sentence context. Sentences that biased a single meaning (either dominant or subordinate) of sentence-final ambiguous words were followed by a lateralized target related to the sentence-congruent or -incongruent meaning of the ambiguous word, or an unrelated word. In the RVF sentence-congruent targets were facilitated, while incongruent targets were not primed. In contrast, related targets were facilitated in the LVF, regardless of sentence context. This suggests that selecting the contextually appropriate word meaning requires the left hemisphere, and supports a right hemisphere role in maintaining alternate word senses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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