Recognition of Abstract and Concrete Words in a Dichotic Listening Paradigm Academic Article uri icon


  • A dichotic listening paradigm was used to examine the hypothesis that whilst concrete nouns can be processed equally well by both right and left hemispheres, the left hemisphere is superior in processing abstract nouns. Although simple main effects of word frequency, ear of presentation, sex of subject and concreteness / abstractness were significant and in the expected directions, further fine-grained analyses using in particular the laterality coefficient showed that only about a third of the subjects showed a clear right ear advantage, and that this was not related to any of the independent variables. There was no evidence supporting differential hemispheric processing of concrete and abstract words and it is suggested that methods of data analysis used in this kind of research need to be carefully examined.

publication date

  • March 1984

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