Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


The Lateralization of Emotional Perception Public Deposited

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  • There is consensus among researchers that some form of hemispheric lateralization exists when perceiving emotions. However, conclusions regarding the exact organization have been inconsistent with some studies supporting an overall right hemisphere lateralization and others suggesting differential lateralization for positively and negatively valenced emotions. The main objective of this study was to examine the validity of experimental methodologies generating these conclusions in an attempt to resolve the inconsistencies found across previous works. In the current study, right handed participants (N = 90) completed three experiments testing for visual field biases when perceiving emotional faces as a proxy measure of lateralization. Participants completed a free-view emotional chimeric face task (Experiment 1), a tachistoscopic version of this task (Experiment 2), and two divided visual field tasks (Experiment 3). A consistent left visual field bias (i.e., right hemisphere lateralization) was found when judging the emotional intensity of positive and negative emotions in both the free-view and tachistoscopic chimeric face tasks. The divided visual field tasks of Experiment 3 uncovered an unexpected right visual field bias (i.e., left hemisphere lateralization) for the emotional face recognition task. These results suggest that judging emotional intensity and recognizing emotions may be distinct processes, though both are under the umbrella of “emotional perception.”
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