Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

Can you HAND-le these emotions? An investigation on hemispheric dominance with exposure to auditory stimuli

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Michael Oliver

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Hemispheric lateralization suggests that each hemisphere of the brain specializes in processing different mental processes and behaviors. Previous literature suggests that hemispheric lateralization for emotions have been systematically associated with handedness, especially when exposed to facial stimuli. However, there is little known when it comes to trends in hemispheric lateralization for emotional auditory stimuli. The current study uses a dichotic listening paradigm to better understand emotional hemispheric lateralization of auditory stimuli in conjunction with handedness. Negative, positive, and neutral words are presented independently in each ear to measure reaction time differences between stimuli for the different valence categories. We expect to find that reaction time will be faster for positively valenced words presented to the right ear as compared to the left ear, indicating left hemispheric dominance for positively valenced emotions. In addition, we expect to find faster reaction times for positively valenced stimuli as compared to negatively valenced stimuli.

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