Responding to threat: hemispheric asymmetries and interhemispheric division of input. Journal Article uri icon



  • This investigation examined how hemispheric asymmetry and interhemispheric processing contribute to attentional biases toward emotional information. Participants (n = 88) named the color of lateralized squares presented concurrently with neutral, positive, or threatening words. A left-hemisphere advantage in color naming was reduced when distractors were emotional, suggesting right-hemisphere priming by emotional stimuli. Furthermore, the advantage of dividing the word and color across visual fields was increased for emotion words when they were frequently presented, indicating a strategic use of interhemispheric division of labor to reduce the distracting effect of emotional words. Finally, participants with high levels of anxious apprehension were most likely to make use of this interhemispheric processing strategy, supporting a processing efficiency theory of cognitive function in anxiety.

publication date

  • April 1, 2000

Full Author List

  • Compton RJ; Heller W; Banich MT; Palmieri PA; Miller GA

Other Profiles

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 254

end page

  • 264


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