Laterality effects in the recognition of depth-rotated novel objects

Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci. 2004 Mar;4(1):100-11. doi: 10.3758/cabn.4.1.100.


The dissociable neural subsystems theory proposes that left-hemisphere (LH) performance is dominated by a viewpoint-invariant (VI) recognition subsystem, whereas right-hemisphere (RH) performance is dominated by a viewpoint-dependent (VD) subsystem (Marsolek, 1999). Studies supporting this theory have used familiar objects and, therefore, may have been confounded by characteristics beyond perceptual features. Experiment 1, a lateralized sequential-matching task with novel objects, showed VD recognition in both hemispheres. In Experiment 2, some participants learned semantic associations for four novel objects, whereas others were exposed to the novel objects without the semantic associations. Both groups later performed a depth-rotated lateralized sequential-matching task. The participants who had learned semantic associations showed greater VD performance in the RH than in the LH; however, the participants in the control group showed equivalent VD performance in both hemispheres. The results suggest that hemispheric differences in VD performance may be partially attributable to an LH advantage for semantic processing.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Computer Graphics
  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*
  • Reference Values
  • Rotation
  • Semantics*