Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 25–38

Hemispheric asymmetry and human associative learning: Interactions with attention

  • Kenneth Hugdahl
  • Sara Saban
  • Bjørn Helge Johnsen
  • Claes Göran Brobeck
Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF02691279

Cite this article as:
Hugdahl, K., Saban, S., Johnsen, B.H. et al. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science (1994) 29: 25. doi:10.1007/BF02691279

Abstract

In a previous study (Hugdahl & Brobeck, 1986) it was shown that Pavlovian conditioning to an auditory verbal conditioned stimulus (CS) initially presented only to the left cerebral hemisphere was stronger than when the same CS was presented to the right hemisphere. This was followed up in the present study by controlling for the possibility that the effect was caused by laterally biased attention. The study was performed using the “dichotic extinction paradigm,” which consists of three different phases. During the habituation phase, the CS+ and CS- were presented binaurally and separated in time. During the acquisition phase, the CS+ was followed by a white-noise unconditioned stimulus (UCS). During the dichotic extinction phase, the CS+ and CS- were presented dichotically, i.e., simultaneous presentations on each trial. Half of the subjects had the CS+ in the right ear, and half had the CS+ in the left ear. Each group was further divided into two subgroups, with one subgroup instructed to attend only to the right ear input, and the other subgroup to attend only to the left ear input. During acquisition, larger electrodermal responses were obtained to the CS+ than to the CS-. During dichotic extinction, the CS+ right ear group showed superior resistance to extinction compared to the CS+ left ear group, with no effect of the manipulation of attention. The effect was, however, attenuated when levels of acquisition was used as covariates in an analysis of covariance. There were overall larger responses from the left hand recording.

Copyright information

© Springer 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth Hugdahl
    • 1
  • Sara Saban
    • 1
  • Bjørn Helge Johnsen
    • 1
  • Claes Göran Brobeck
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological and Medical PsychologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  2. 2.Uppsala UniversitySweden