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Durham University



Publication details for Professor Amanda Ellison

Lavidor, M., Ellison, A. & Walsh, V. (2003). The cortical representation of centrally presented words: a magnetic stimulation study. Visual Cognition 10(3): 341-362.

Author(s) from Durham


The right and left visual fields each project to the contralateral cerebral hemispheres. The current study aimed to investigate the extent of the functional overlap of the two hemifields along the vertical meridian. We applied repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the left and right occipital cortex to investigate whether the foveal representation of words is bilaterally represented or is split between the two hemispheres. Employing a lateralized lexical decision task, we first showed a double dissociation between the stimulated cortical site and performance; right visual field (RVF) but not left visual field (LVF) performance was impaired when the left visual cortex was stimulated, and LVF but not RVF performance was impairred when the right visual cortex was stimulated. Unilateral stimulation also significantly impaired lexical decision latencies to centrally presented words. These findings support the suggestion that foveal representation of words is split. We discuss future strategies for the use of TMS in further tests of the split representation account.

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