Visual-field differences in picture-word interference

Stephen J. Lupker*, Marianne Sanders

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Picture-word interference refers to the fact that if a picture (i.e., line drawing) is presented centrally with a word superimposed, picture-naming latency is longer than if that same picture is presented alone. This phenomenon, like the Stroop phenomenon, seems to be strongly influenced by the nature of the to-be-ignored word. That is, if the word names a member of the picture's semantic category additional interference is observed; however, if the word is replaced by a phonetically unviable consonant string interference is reduced. In the present experiments these effects were examined in the situation where the picture-word stimuli were presented unilaterally in either the left or right visual field. For right-visual-field presentations, phonetic and semantic factors both influenced performance just as in central presentations. As such, these results can be satisfactorily explained in terms of response competition processes. However, the results for the left-visual-field presentations were quite different. Although substantial interference was observed for all types of stimuli, the amount of interference was essentially independent of the linguistic nature of the superimposed letter string. These results do not appear to be explainable in terms of response competition processes. Instead, it is suggested that the best way to explain these results is in terms of the perceptual capabilities of the right hemisphere.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)381-398
    Number of pages18
    JournalBrain and Cognition
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1982


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