Lateralization of lexical codes in auditory word recognition

Steven G. Zecker*, Michael K. Tanenhaus, Lesley Alderman, Lynne Siqueland

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Three experiments examined the lateralization of lexical codes in auditory word recognition. In Experiment 1 a word rhyming with a binaurally presented cue word was detected faster when the cue and target were spelled similarly than when they were spelled differently. This orthography effect was larger when the target was presented to the right ear than when it was presented to the left ear. Experiment 2 replicated the interaction between ear of presentation and orthography effect when the cue and target were spoken in different voices. In Experiment 3, subjects made lexical decisions to pairs of stimuli presented to the left or the right ear. Lexical decision times and the amount of facilitation which obtained when the target stimuli were semantically related words did not differ as a function of ear of presentation. The results suggest that the semantic, phonological, and orthographic codes for a word are represented in each hemisphere; however, orthographic and phonological representations are integrated only in the left hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-389
Number of pages18
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Speech and Hearing


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