Estimating Cerebral Asymmetry and Interhemispheric Transmission Time from Individual Differences in Bimanual Response to Lateralized Stimuli

  • W. N. Schofield
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 130)


This chapter is partly a critical review of selected divided visual field studies of cerebral lateralisation using manual reaction time mostly to simple stimuli such as dots or flashes of light, and of studies purporting to estimate interhemispheric transmission times from these procedures. It is suggested that inconsistencies in the findings reviewed rest on failure to take into account individual differences in processing strategy, amongst other things. A method for overcoming these difficulties is proposed, and support for this is found by re-analysis of right and left hand RTs from an early study. The remainder of the chapter reports a simple reaction time experiment in which bimanual response to bilateral stimulus presentation is related to bimanual response to unilateral presentation. It is shown that sex differences in lateralization following unilateral presentation reduce to difference in between hand response speeds as established for bilateral presentation, and it is suggested that this represents individual hemispheric differences in processing strategy. An influence from sighting dominance is shown both in initial analyses and in multivariate regression on factor scores. Estimates of interhemispheric transmission time are provided, but with suggestions for improved control. It is argued that hand differences in reaction time will vary in relation not to the hemisphere of initial projection of the visual stimulus but to the hemisphere in which the response command is issued, and that this could well be a better indicator of processing hemisphere than visual field differences.


Simple Reaction Time Leave Visual Field Right Visual Field Response Hand Simple Reaction Time Task 
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Copyright information

© Julius Springer in Berlin 1937

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. N. Schofield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

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