Repetition priming refers to facilitated recognition of stimuli that have been seen previously. Although a great deal of work has examined the properties of repetition priming for familiar faces, little has examined the neuroanatomical basis of the effect. Two experiments are presented in this paper that combine the repetition priming paradigm with a divided visual field methodology to examine lateralized recognition of familiar faces. In the first experiment participants were presented with prime faces unilaterally to each visual field and target faces foveally. A significant priming effect was found for prime faces presented to the right hemisphere, but not for prime faces presented to the left hemisphere. In Experiment 2, prime and target faces were presented unilaterally, either to the same visual field or to the opposite visual field (i.e., either within hemisphere or across hemispheres). A significant priming effect was found for the within right hemisphere condition, but not for the within left hemisphere condition, replicating the findings of the first experiment. Priming was also found in both of the across hemispheres conditions, suggesting that interhemispheric cooperation occurs to aid recognition. Taken in combination these experiments provide two main findings. First, an asymmetric repetition priming effect was found, possibly as a result of asymmetric levels of activation following recognition of a prime face, with greater priming occurring within the right hemisphere. Second, there is evidence for asymmetric interhemispheric cooperation with transfer of information from the right hemisphere to the left hemisphere to facilitate recognition.
Bourne, V. J., & Hole, G. J. (2006). Lateralized repetition priming for familiar faces: evidence for asymmetric interhemispheric cooperation. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59(6), 1117-1133. https://doi.org/10.1080/02724980543000150