Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Greg Simpson

Second Advisor

Frank Clark

Third Advisor

Wayne Harrison


Targets related to ambiguous primes were projected to the left and right visual fields in a lexical priming experiment with stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA) of 35ms and 750ms. Left hemisphere results were similar to earlier results with central projection (Simpson & Burgess, JEP:HPP, 1985). Facilitation across both SOAs for the more frequent meaning and a decrease in facilitation for the less frequent meaning at the longer SOA. In contrast, right hemisphere results indicated a decay of facilitation for the more frequent meaning at the longer SOA, while activation for the subordinate meaning increased. Results suggest that while automatic processing occurs in either hemisphere, only the left hemisphere engages in controlled processing of ambiguous word meanings. In addition, the present results support the idea that the right hemisphere lexicon possesses a richer endowment than earlier thought.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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