Do response time advantage and interference reflect the order of processing of global- and local-level information?

Perception & Psychophysics (Impact Factor: 2.22). 10/1989; 46(3):254-8.
Source: PubMed


Navon's (1977) global precedence hypothesis was based primarily on the joint occurrence of two effects: a response time (RT) advantage for identifying global targets, and interference by global distractors on responding to local targets. Although the hypothesis has been questioned on the basis of experiments in which it has been shown that a local RT advantage and local interference can occur, it is still frequently assumed that these two effects are a valid measure of the order in which local and global levels of structure are processed. In the present experiment, this assumption was examined. Subjects identified target letters that occurred randomly at the global or local level in a divided-attention task. The visual angle subtended by the stimulus pattern was varied, a manipulation known to affect the relative speed of response to local- or global-level information. Local targets were identified faster than global targets at the larger visual angles, but there was no difference in RT at the smallest visual angle. Despite this change in RT advantage, the interference effect did not change as a function of the visual angle of the stimulus pattern. Moreover, global distractors interfered with responding to local targets but local targets had no effect on responding to global targets, which is exactly the opposite of the finding one would expect if RT advantage and interference reflected order of processing. These findings are not consistent with the assumption that RT advantage and interference reflect order of processing in a simple way.

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    • "One question of interest is whether the LH advantage for the morphological marking (subject/verb condition) reflects a languagespecific difference between the two hemispheres for syntactic processing , or whether it reflects a more general hemispheric difference in perceptual processing. Converging evidence from many fields and methodologies suggests that the hemispheres are differentially dominant at processing local as opposed to global information: the RH is biased for global processing whereas the LH is biased for processing on a local level (Banich and Noll, 1993; Delis et al., 1986; Heinze et al., 1998; Heinze and Münte, 1993; Lamb and Robertson, 1989; Martin, 1979; Martinez et al., 1997; Robertson and Delis, 1986; Robertson and Lamb, 1991; Robertson et al., 1988, 1993; Sergent, 1982; Yovel et al., 2001). In the present study, the morphologically marked number agreement might be considered a local feature, whereas the lexically marked number agreement might be seen as involving more global aspects of these sentences. "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite indications in the split-brain and lesion literatures that the right hemisphere is capable of some syntactic analysis, few studies have investigated right hemisphere contributions to syntactic processing in people with intact brains. Here we used the visual half-field paradigm in healthy adults to examine each hemisphere's processing of correct and incorrect grammatical number agreement marked either lexically, e.g., antecedent/reflexive pronoun ("The grateful niece asked herself/*themselves…") or morphologically, e.g., subject/verb ("Industrial scientists develop/*develops…"). For reflexives, response times and accuracy of grammaticality decisions suggested similar processing regardless of visual field of presentation. In the subject/verb condition, we observed similar response times and accuracies for central and right visual field (RVF) presentations. For left visual field (LVF) presentation, response times were longer and accuracy rates were reduced relative to RVF presentation. An event-related brain potential (ERP) study using the same materials revealed similar ERP responses to the reflexive pronouns in the two visual fields, but very different ERP effects to the subject/verb violations. For lexically marked violations on reflexives, P600 was elicited by stimuli in both the LVF and RVF; for morphologically marked violations on verbs, P600 was elicited only by RVF stimuli. These data suggest that both hemispheres can process lexically marked pronoun agreement violations, and do so in a similar fashion. Morphologically marked subject/verb agreement errors, however, showed a distinct LH advantage.
    International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology 12/2013; 91(2). DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2013.12.002 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Behavioral, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging studies with neurally intact and lesioned adults indicate that local information is preferentially processed in the left hemisphere and global information in the right hemisphere. For example, patients with left parietal or temporal damage create drawings with less local detail and have more difficulty identifying local features in hierarchical figures, whereas patients with right hemisphere damage in homologous areas draw pictures that lack global organization, have difficulty identifying global items in hierarchical figures, and lack global precedence effects (Lamb et al., 1989; Lamb, Robertson, & Knight, 1990; Robertson & Lamb, 1991; Robertson, Lamb, & Knight, 1988). PET studies have shown lateralized activation when viewers selectively attend to local or global features of visual stimuli (Fink et al., 1997). "
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    ABSTRACT: Differential processing of local and global visual features is well established. Global precedence effects, differences in event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited when attention is focused on local versus global levels, and hemispheric specialization for local and global features all indicate that relative scale of detail is an important distinction in visual processing. Observing analogous differential processing of local and global auditory information would suggest that scale of detail is a general organizational principle of the brain. However, to date the research on auditory local and global processing has primarily focused on music perception or on the perceptual analysis of relatively higher and lower frequencies. The study described here suggests that temporal aspects of auditory stimuli better capture the local-global distinction. By combining short (40 ms) frequency modulated tones in series to create global auditory patterns (500 ms), we independently varied whether pitch increased or decreased over short time spans (local) and longer time spans (global). Accuracy and reaction time measures revealed better performance for global judgments and asymmetric interference that were modulated by amount of pitch change. ERPs recorded while participants listened to identical sounds and indicated the direction of pitch change at the local or global levels provided evidence for differential processing similar to that found in ERP studies employing hierarchical visual stimuli. ERP measures failed to provide evidence for lateralization of local and global auditory perception, but differences in distributions suggest preferential processing in more ventral and dorsal areas respectively.
    Neuropsychologia 04/2007; 45(6):1172-86. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.10.010 · 3.30 Impact Factor
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    • "Both these theories imply that the direction of the interference effect in selective attention tasks will depend on the level that is processed preferentially. However, Lamb and Robertson (1989) found dissociations between local and global processing in patients with left and right hemispheric damage. Patients with left temporal lesions were faster at detecting letters at the global level compared to the local level, but this global RT advantage significantly decreased for patients with right temporal lesions. "
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    ABSTRACT: We report a study on a patient (DW) with integrative visual agnosia and a category-specific recognition impairment for living things. We assessed DW's local and global processing and tested if his integrative agnosia could have led directly to his category-specific impairment. The main findings were: (i) DW was faster at identifying local compared to global letters. (ii) DW showed no local-to-global (or global-to-local) interference effects in selective attention tasks. (iii) DW showed a congruency effect in a divided attention task, suggesting that, when his attention was cued to both levels, he could process information simultaneously and integrate local and global information. (iv) Controls were poorer at naming nonliving compared to living things when presented with silhouettes. These data suggest that local and global information are differentially weighted in the visual recognition of living and nonliving things, and that an impairment in processing the overall shape of an object can lead to a category-specific deficit for living things. Crucially, this implies that category-specific impairments do not necessarily reflect damage to the semantic system, and models of semantic memory based on this assumption need to be revised.
    Neuropsychologia 02/2006; 44(6):982-6. DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2005.09.005 · 3.30 Impact Factor
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