In order to determine whether pictures would act as more effective semantic primes than words in the right cerebral hemisphere, automatic semantic activation in intact hemispheres was studied with primed GO-NOGO lexical decision tasks by presenting word-word and picture-word pairs to the left visual field (right hemisphere) or to the right visual field (left hemisphere). Response times in Experiment 1 showed that categorically related targets (e.g., TABLE-BED) were primed only in the right visual field after both word and picture primes. Experiment 2 found that picture primes activated the representations of the corresponding written names in both visual fields. These observations suggest that the range of automatic semantic activation is larger in the left than in the right hemisphere. The results implicate that semantic categories may be organized in a different fashion in the left than the right hemisphere.
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