Lateral biases and reading direction: A dissociation between aesthetic preference and line bisection

Yukiko Ishii, Matia Okubo, Michael Nicholls, Hisato Imai

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    21 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Perceptual asymmetries for tasks involving aesthetic preference or line bisection can be affected by asymmetrical neurological mechanisms or left/right reading habits. This study investigated the relative contribution of these mechanisms in 100 readers of Japanese and English. Participants made aesthetic judgments between pairs of mirror-reversed pictures showing: (a) static objects, (b) moving objects and (c) landscapes. A line bisection task was also administered. There was a strong effect of reading direction for static and mobile objects whereby Japanese readers preferred objects with a right-to-left directionality (and vice versa for English readers). In contrast, similar patterns were observed for the Japanese and English readers for the landscape and line bisection tasks. The results show that reading habits affect aesthetic judgments for static and moving object tasks, but not the landscape and line bisection tasks. The difference between the tasks may be related to the horizontal/vertical geometry of the stimuli, which makes the landscape and line bisection tasks more prone to universal effects related to cerebral dominance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)242-247
    Number of pages6
    JournalBrain and Cognition
    Volume75
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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