Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Global Versus Local Processing

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_735


Distinction between levels of information processing focusing preferentially on either details of specific information (local) versus the whole (global).

Current Knowledge

The “global versus local” processing dichotomy centers around the view that the brain’s handling of perceptual information differs depending on which hemisphere is predominantly engaged. The left hemisphere is thought to be more adept at processing details (“local”), while the right is superior in grasping the whole (“global”). The accompanying figure is representative of one type of stimulus used to study this phenomenon (Fig. 1). Research with brain-injured populations has tended to show differences in performance depending on the localization of the lesion, patients with left-sided lesions being faster in identifying the “H” (global processing of the intact right hemisphere), and those with right hemisphere lesions demonstrating a greater facility in identifying the “S” (local processing by the intact...

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References and Readings

  1. Blanca, M. J., Zalabardo, C., Garcia-Criado, F., & Siles, R. (1994). Hemispheric differences in global and local processing dependent of exposure duration. Neuropsychologia, 32, 1343–1351.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Assistant Professor of PsychiatryDepartment of Psychiatry and Neurology Tulane University Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA