Using the DRM false memory recall paradigm to investigate hemispheric asymmetry and sex differences
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The purpose of this study was to replicate that of Ito’s (2001) in which hemispheric asymmetry was explored using a false recognition and list learning paradigm to induce high levels of false recall for semantically related, but non-studied, critical words. The experiment replicated that of Ito’s in that it showed that the correct response rate for studied words and critical non-studied was significantly higher when the words were presented to the (rvf)-LH than when presented to the (lvf)-RH. As with Ito we discuss a model of fine semantic coding for the LH and coarse semantic coding to the RH to explain the results and asked whether the model was sufficient to explain this pattern of verbal memory recall. Furthermore, as increasing research has provided evidence that sex differences may provide a bearing upon verbal memory recall skills, we divided our 32 subjects evenly between both sexes. Although sex differences were not significant overall, which may be due to a low number of subjects tested, descriptive statistics showed that women generally had a higher correct recall of studied words, performing at a similar level to men in the LH but excelling in recall of studied words in the RH. However, women also falsely recalled the critical non-studied words in the RH more than men and this result did turn out to be significant. These results are also discussed under the coarse and fine coding model along with the idea that sex differences fall along a continuum related to the sex of an individual’s brain rather than their outward biological gender.