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Effects of Brain Laterality on Decoding Accuracy for Facial Displays of Emotion
Unformatted Document Text:  Effects of Brain 13 however. In AD people, the right side of the brain is larger or equal in size to the left side (Geschwind & Galaburda, 1987). The excessive right brain development could lead to exceptional talents in activities involving spatial skills and perceptions of nonverbal communication (Bodary & Miller, 2000). However, deficits have been noted in left-handers, who are often AD, on procedures that strongly rely on visouspatials skills, compared with more verbal activities (Iaccino, 1993). Consequently, contradictory thoughts exist as to whether AD people will have exceptional skills or skill deficits when performing primarily right hemisphere activities, including the decoding of emotion display. Differences in brain specialization are not found only in patterns of hemispheric dominance, but also in biological sex. Evidence exists that women tend to be more hemispherically integrated or symmetrical than men (Andersen et al., 1979). Specifically, researchers have found the when the left hemisphere is damaged the right hemisphere can recover language more easily in women than in men. Iaccino (1993) also reported that in general, women are less lateralized and more symmetrical in their brain functioning than men. Consequently, it appears as though the brain functions differently in men and women; thus, sex could have a main effect on nonverbal decoding abilities. In fact, past research has shown that women decode nonverbal expression more accurately than men (Wagner et al., 1986; Zuckerman et al., 1975; Zuckerman et al., 1976), which could be partially due to sex differences in brain functioning. These findings lead to the following research question: RQ1: Does sex affect the decoding of facial emotion? Although men and women differ in how their brain functions and processes information in general, brain dominance may also interact with sex to affect decoding abilities. Bodary and Miller (2000) found, in their study of communication style, that AD males were more open and

Authors: Floyd, Kory. and Mikkelson, Alan.
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Effects of Brain 13
however. In AD people, the right side of the brain is larger or equal in size to the left side
(Geschwind & Galaburda, 1987). The excessive right brain development could lead to
exceptional talents in activities involving spatial skills and perceptions of nonverbal
communication (Bodary & Miller, 2000). However, deficits have been noted in left-handers,
who are often AD, on procedures that strongly rely on visouspatials skills, compared with more
verbal activities (Iaccino, 1993). Consequently, contradictory thoughts exist as to whether AD
people will have exceptional skills or skill deficits when performing primarily right hemisphere
activities, including the decoding of emotion display.
Differences in brain specialization are not found only in patterns of hemispheric
dominance, but also in biological sex. Evidence exists that women tend to be more
hemispherically integrated or symmetrical than men (Andersen et al., 1979). Specifically,
researchers have found the when the left hemisphere is damaged the right hemisphere can
recover language more easily in women than in men. Iaccino (1993) also reported that in
general, women are less lateralized and more symmetrical in their brain functioning than men.
Consequently, it appears as though the brain functions differently in men and women; thus, sex
could have a main effect on nonverbal decoding abilities. In fact, past research has shown that
women decode nonverbal expression more accurately than men (Wagner et al., 1986; Zuckerman
et al., 1975; Zuckerman et al., 1976), which could be partially due to sex differences in brain
functioning. These findings lead to the following research question:
RQ1: Does sex affect the decoding of facial emotion?
Although men and women differ in how their brain functions and processes information in
general, brain dominance may also interact with sex to affect decoding abilities. Bodary and
Miller (2000) found, in their study of communication style, that AD males were more open and


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