Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Malcolm Robertson

Third Advisor

Dr. Suzanne Brennan

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael


The right hemisphere of males has been shown to possess a greater capacity for accurate perception of emotional non-verbal material (pictures) than the left hemisphere. The same is true for females, but with a smaller difference between the two hemispheres. Some previous research has partially confirmed these relationships using tachistoscopic presentation of emotional words. The present study, using briefly exposed computerpresented sexual words, compared perception accuracy with respect to a sexuality rating of clearly sexual and clearly non-sexual words, in the right versus the left visual field, and with males versus females. As with previous research using verbal stimuli, the sexual ratings were more accurately perceived by both males and females in the right than the left visual field, but the disparity between sexual and non-sexual word perception accuracy was not in the direction expected if the emotionality of the words (their sexual content) favored left visual field perception accuracy, and if this special right hemisphere capacity was not as great in females as in males.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access