Hemispheric differences for feature perturbations were investigated in two experiments. Stimulus displays consisting of five small squares arranged in a single row were presented tachistoscopically, with the subject instructed to state in which square a horizontal tick mark was located. Ticks could occur in any of the three middle squares, with half of the ticks presented on the inside and half presented on the outside of the square in relation to the fovea. Experiment 1 presented each array of five squares to the right or left of fixation at one of three distances from the fovea. Experiment 2 manipulated the distance between the squares and kept foveal distance constant. In each experiment, fewer errors were made when stimuli were presented to the left visual field/right hemisphere than when they were presented to the right visual field/left hemisphere, when ticks migrated toward the fovea. Experiment 1 found that increasing the distance from the fovea increased the error rate, but did not change the hemispheric differences. Experiment 2 found that increasing the distance between the squares did not change hemispheric effects reliably. The data imply that hemispheric differences for perceptual processing begin very early during sensory analysis.
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