Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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Over the past decades, a growing literature on perceptual bias has investigated the factors that determine normal performance in simple visuospatial tasks, such as line bisection and aesthetic preference. Normal right-handed participants may exhibit spatial asymmetries in these tasks with a tendency to bisect to the left of the objective middle in line bisection and a preference for images with the center of interest in their right half in aesthetic preference tasks. These patterns of performance have mostly been attributed to hemispheric imbalance. Other explanations have also been put forth to explain the spatial asymmetries seen in the normal population. Here we review studies that target the role of reading direction on visuospatial tasks. In addition to presenting several of our studies that investigated differences in line bisection and aesthetic preference performances between left-to-right readers (French) and right-to-left readers (Israeli), we present a discussion of the existing literature on reading direction, culture and visuospatial processing. The findings are discussed regarding the interaction between cultural factors, such as reading habits, and biological factors, such as cerebral lateralization, in visual perception.

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