New Research From Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Psychological Science:

It’s All in the Family: Brain Asymmetry and Syntactic Processing of Word Class

Chia-lin Lee and Kara D. Federmeier

The specialization of the left hemisphere for language processing is considered to be one of the key examples of functional lateralization in the brain; however, studies now indicate that the right hemisphere may play a larger role in language than was once assumed. Electroencephalographic data were collected as right-handed participants judged the grammaticality of phrases presented in the left or right visual field. The researchers found evidence of syntactic processing in both hemispheres only in participants who had left-handed relatives. A family history of left-handedness is associated with reduced leftward lateralization of language processing. The lateralization of syntactic processing in right-handers with a family history of left-handedness may help explain some of the inconsistent findings related to the lateralization of language.

Retrieval-Induced Inhibition in Short-Term Memory

Min-Suk Kang and Joongrul Choi

In this study, a visual illusion called motion repulsion was used to study whether retrieved representations from short-term memory inhibit competing representations held in short-term memory. Participants were shown two sequential displays showing a set of dots moving in a specific direction. Participants were then asked to recall the direction of the first and then the second set of dots (forward-recall trials) or the direction of the second and then the first set of dots (backward-recall trials). Repulsion magnitude was greatest for the stimulus that was retrieved second. This pattern of results would be expected if retrieval of the first stimulus from short-term memory inhibited the representation of the second stimulus currently held in short-term memory.

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