Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The effect of complexity upon hemispheric specialization for reading Chinese characters

Coney, J. (1998) The effect of complexity upon hemispheric specialization for reading Chinese characters. Neuropsychologia, 36 (2). pp. 149-153.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


A number of reports in the literature have suggested that there is a right hemisphere advantage for the processing of single Chinese or Japanese characters. There are, nonetheless, many studies which have produced contradictory findings, suggesting that the factor or factors underlying the lateral asymmetry have not been clearly identified. The present study investigated the proposal that visual complexity of single Chinese characters, as measured by stroke number, was related to a right hemisphere advantage for processing this material. However, increasing the level of complexity of the characters was found to be related to the development of a left hemisphere advantage, thus clearly disconfirming the proposal. It is argued that the results are more satisfactorily interpreted in terms of the relationship between hemisphere specialization and the spatial frequency of the stimuli.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2004 Elsevier Ltd
Item Control Page Item Control Page