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Hemispheric differences in the temporal updating in short narrative situation models using a LDT

Landes, Jasmin K. (2011) Hemispheric differences in the temporal updating in short narrative situation models using a LDT. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Recent research into situation model representations has demonstrated the neglect of the temporal dimension relative to the remaining dimensions that govern the formation of situation model representations. Furthermore, literature has recently demonstrated right hemisphere (RH) involvement in the processing, integrating and revising of semantic information. For the purpose of gaining a cohesive understanding of situation models and the mechanisms involved in their formation, the present study aimed to investigate whether the RH hosts at least the temporal dimension of situation model representations. Thirty-four right-handed psychology students from Murdoch University participated in a computerised go-nogo lexical decision task (LDT) in which participant reaction time and error rates were documented. Temporal shifts in situation model representations were controlled for by presenting participants with short narrative passages that included short or long temporal adverbials or none at all during baseline/ neutral condition. Words and non-words were projected to the left visual field (LVF)/RH, the central visual field (CVF) and the right visual field/ left hemisphere (RVF/LH). Contrary to the hypotheses, the results did not demonstrate any temporal shifts for targets presented to the CVF or LVF/RH, as the degree of facilitation of targets between the short and long temporal references did not vary significantly. These findings are contrary to Zwaan’s (1996) strong iconicity assumption as well as previous behavioural research to suggest temporal updating. Nonetheless, compelling theoretical support lead to the continued maintenance of the claim that temporal awareness is inherent to the LVF/RH.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Supervisor(s): Coney, Jeff
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