Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Malcolm H. Robertson

Second Advisor

Dr. James Gilchrist

Third Advisor

Dr. Frederick Gault

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The present study investigated the role of inhibition of transfer between the cerebral hemispheres in the manifestation of perceptual defense. Paired contributions of affectively positive and negative pictures were tachistoscopically presented to 25 subjects who were asked to verbally rate the overall affective value of each presentation. Perceptual defense would be indicated if the presentation was rated as being significantly more positive when the left hemisphere viewed a negative picture than the reverse condition. This situation would indicate the inhibition of transfer of negative information from the right hemisphere to the left where the input could be vocalized. Rather than inhibition, a system of integration and co-operation of functioning between the hemispheres was demonstrated.

Results also lend additional validation to past research indicating the importance of imageability and the visual characteristics of the stimulus situation in right hemisphere activation.