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Task demands modulate decision and eye movement responses in the chimeric face test: examining the right hemisphere processing account.


ABSTRACT: A large and growing body of work, conducted in both brain-intact and brain-damaged populations, has used the free viewing chimeric face test as a measure of hemispheric dominance for the extraction of emotional information from faces. These studies generally show that normal right-handed individuals tend to perceive chimeric faces as more emotional if the emotional expression is presented on the half of the face to the viewer's left ("left hemiface"). However, the mechanisms underlying this lateralized bias remain unclear. Here, we examine the extent to which this bias is driven by right hemisphere processing advantages vs. default scanning biases in a unique way-by changing task demands. In particular, we compare the original task with one in which right-hemisphere-biased processing cannot provide a decision advantage. Our behavioral and eye movement data are inconsistent with the predictions of a default scanning bias account and support the idea that the left hemiface bias found in the chimeric face test is largely due to strategic use of right hemisphere processing mechanisms.

SUBMITTER: Coronel JC 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3960575 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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