Brain -- Hemispheric Differences

McGlannan, Frances; Zaidel, Dahlia; Sperry, R. W.
April 1974
Journal of Learning Disabilities;Apr1974, Vol. 7 Issue 4, p212
Academic Journal
This article reports on a study in which the Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices was modified for lateralized testing in a group of commissurotomy patients. Commissurotomy patients with surgical disconnection of the cerebral hemispheres offer special opportunities for studies involving quantitative and qualitative comparisons between the mental capacities of the two hemispheres in that the two can be compared directly on the same task in a single individual. The matrices were seen in free vision, as in normal testing, but the answer was presented among a choice array of raised metal etched patterns to the right or left hands separately, that is, to the left or right hemispheres respectively. The scores for the left and right hands show a consistent pattern of better performance by the left hand-right hemisphere. A higher percentage rate of correct answers was obtained by all subjects with their left hands and the difference between the two hands was found to be significant in stage one. When identifying patterns with their right hand, subjects tended to work slowly and to verbalize their reasoning, giving verbal labels to aspects of the pattern such as number, distance or angle. By contrast, when working with the left hand, subjects' performance was much more rapid, confident and silent.


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