Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Lori Buchanan


Psychology, Cerebral hemispheres, Phonological processing




The overall aim of this study was to develop an understanding of the role of each cerebral hemisphere in the orthographic and phonological processing of a printed word. More specifically, three experiments investigated whether the right hemisphere can process the phonology of single printed words. Experiment 1 used the visual half-field primed lexical decision task of Lavidor and Ellis (2003). While interpretation of the results is debatable, it is argued that they show phonological processing that is limited to the left hemisphere. Corroboration was obtained from Experiments 2 and 3, in which a visual half-field forward masked primed lexical decision task was used. In Experiment 2, orthographic priming was obtained regardless of stimulus onset asynchrony and visual field/hemisphere of presentation. In Experiment 3, phonological priming was not obtained at a 50 ms stimulus onset asynchrony, but was obtained at 150 ms stimulus onset asynchrony for stimuli presented to the right visual field/left hemisphere. These findings are consistent with Chiarello's (2003) view of rapid, deep left hemisphere processing of print and more shallow right hemisphere processing.