Hemispheric differences in dichaptic scanning of verbal and spatial material by adult males and females

Francesca Borgo, Carlo Semenza, Paolo Puntin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An experimental design based on the combination of dichaptic presentation associated to the Posner's paradigm was adopted to investigate laterality effects for verbal and spatial non-linguistic stimuli in male and female adult normal subjects. In a grapheme similarity judgment task based on "Name Identity" a right hand/left hemisphere advantage was found. Conversely, laterality effects were neither observed when the task involved "Perceptually Identical" or "Different" letter pairs. In a further experiment, the same methodology was adopted to verify hemispheric effects with spatial non-linguistic material, and a significant advantage for the left hand/right hemisphere was observed. Contrary to many previous studies, no gender or gender × task effects have been detected in both experiments. The present results suggest the existence, also in the tactile domain, of a direct link between input type and the linguistic or non-linguistic processing to which the two hemispheres are devoted. The overall pattern of data seriously hampers Witelson's [Cortex 10 (1974) 3] original hypothesis that letter stimuli presented in the tactile modality are primarily processed as spatial stimuli, and are therefore dependent on the right hemisphere functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1896-1901
Number of pages6
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Laterality effects
  • Posner's paradigm
  • Tactile stimuli

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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