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Attending to local form while ignoring global aspects depends on handedness: evidence from TMS


Our perceptions of the whole and of the parts of a visual stimulus are mediated by different brain regions. We used low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to show for the first time that opposite, homologous regions in the two hemispheres are involved in attending to local parts for left- and right-handed individuals. The brain regions that focus on the 'trees' while ignoring the 'forest' are switched as a function of handedness.

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Figure 1: Typical display sequence showing congruent and incongruent compound stimuli.
Figure 2: Performance (mean reaction time (RT) ± s.e.m.) for global and local identification pre- and post-TMS trains across stimulus category.


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This work was supported by a grant from the UK Medical Research Council.

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Correspondence to Carmel Mevorach.

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Mevorach, C., Humphreys, G. & Shalev, L. Attending to local form while ignoring global aspects depends on handedness: evidence from TMS. Nat Neurosci 8, 276–277 (2005).

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