Term of Award

Summer 1985

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Richard L. Rogers

Committee Member 1

Gary McClure

Committee Member 2

Robert Haney

Abstract

Recent research indicates that the two hemispheres of the human brain serve different functions when processing visual information. Specifically the left hemisphere, for most individuals, is specialized for an analytic or sequential type of processing and the right hemisphere is specialized for a holistic or gestalt type of processing. However this dichotomy is not always found, and it is hypothesized that individual subject differences may partially account for the somewhat inconsistent results in the research literature. The present study attempts to examine the effect of one individual difference dimension upon process lateralization . Subjects were classified into two types, Type 1 and Type II, based on previously established criteria. Type I individuals are characterized as having only a holistic processing capability, while Type II individuals have both holistic and analytic processing capabilities. This individual difference variable is hypothesized to have an effect upon the analytic/holistic lateralization dichotomy within the two hemispheres of the brain. The subjects in the present study were divided into Type I and Type II subject groups. However the low incidence of Type I subjects observed precludes any meaningful comparison between the Type I and Type II groups. The data from subgroups of subjects that were observed were examined for analytic/holistic lateralization effects. It was hypothesized that process lateralization would occur in the Type II subjects, since these individuals have been described as having dual-processing capabilities. Functional analytic/holistic differences between the two hemispheres were not found. Future research is suggested to clarify the role of individual differences along the Type I/Type II and analytic/holistic dichotomies within the hemispheric specialization research literature.

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