The emergence of the capacity to name left visual field stimuli in a callosotomy patient: Implications for functional plasticity

Kathleen Baynes, C. Mark Wessinger, Robert Fendrich, Michael S. Gazzaniga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Callosotomized patient J.W. has a well-documented history of right hemisphere language abilities, including an auditory and visual lexical-semantic system with limited phonology and syntax. However, J.W. has not previously exhibited the ability to name stimuli presented to the left visual field (LVF). We report the emergence of this ability. Experiments were conducted in which pictures and text were presented to the subject's LVF using retinal stabilization techniques to ensure lateralization. J.W. was able to correctly name approximately one-quarter of these stimuli under a variety of presentation conditions. The newly developed ability to respond verbally to complex LVF stimuli can be the result of (1) enhanced inter-hemispheric transfer of information via sub-cortical pathways, (2) sophisticated cross cueing strategies, or (3) control of motor speech in the right hemisphere. Although it appears that the first two mechanisms make a contribution to J.W.'s LVF naming performance, accuracy for unpredictable stimulus sets and the error patterns require acknowledgement that control of motor speech is now available to the right hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1225-1242
Number of pages18
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume33
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995

Keywords

  • hemispheric differences
  • laterality
  • right hemisphere language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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