The role of the right hemisphere in processing negative sentences in context

Valentina D'Urso, Gianfranco Denes, Stefano Testa, Carlo Semenza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given a pattern consisting of x1, x2,..., xn similar elements and y1, which is perceived as different from the former, it is more plausible to assert that y is not x rather than to assert that x is not y (Wason, J. verb. Learn verb. Behav. 4, 7-11, 1965). In order to appreciate such a difference, the entire set has to be considered. Right-hemisphere brain-damaged patients were submitted to a series of visually presented patterns, each pattern consisting of seven similar items and one dissimilar item. Their task was to complete a statement referring to a single element of each pattern. Statements were either simple affirmative or negative sentences. Errors and reaction times were recorded. Patients with a right-hemisphere injury were found to be insensitive to the plausible-implausible dimension in completing negative sentences. It is hypothesized that right-hemisphere brain-damaged patients are less adequate in this task because they are less capable in putting each element into the visual context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-292
Number of pages4
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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