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Attention and Memory by G. Underwood (Auth.)

By G. Underwood (Auth.)

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The sodium amytal, which is a depressant, is injected whilst the subject counts aloud, with his arms raised and his fingers moving. If the injection is to the non-dominant hemisphere then within a few seconds the subject stops counting and loses control of the arm on the opposite side to the injection. After a further few seconds the subject is able to resume counting and can complete tests of verbal comprehension, indicating the use of language functions. If the injection is to the dominant hemisphere he is unable to start counting again and is dysphasic for a few minutes.

When speech is located in the left hemisphere the subject recalls the items presented to the right ear more efficiently than he recalls those presented to the left ear. Kimura has also demonstrated a Left Ear Advantage for the recall of speech in patients known to have a dominant right hemisphere. The advantage for the right ear/left hemisphere is clarified by the supposition that contralateral connexions between ears and hemispheres are stronger than ipsilateral connexions (Rozenzweig, 1951). Kimura suggests that the REA is a function of perception of speech Immediate (Sensory) Memory 41 rather than a function of differential storage, and that there is superior perception of speech and speech sounds arriving in the dominant hemi­ sphere.

A prediction from this model is that the longer the material is stored the greater wiU be the REA. So, we can test the model by com­ paring the recaU order of right ear items first, left ear items second, against the recall order of left ear items first, right ear items second. Borkowski, Spreen and Stutz (Í965) made such a comparison, finding a REA (right ear items over left ear items) of 7% for the first reported channel, and a REA of 6% for the second reported channel. It makes no difference whether the r i ^ t ear items are reported first or second, they have a consistent advantage over left ear items.

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