The relationship between line bisection performance and emotion processing: where do you draw the line?

Bianca Hatin, Laurie Sykes Tottenham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
177 Downloads (Pure)


A recent study demonstrated that higher accuracy on a line bisection task related to greater ratings of evocative impact from paintings. The authors suggested that line bisection accuracy may act as a “barometer” for both visuospatial and emotion processing, likely as a function of overlapping neural correlates in the right temporoparietal region. We suggest and test an alternative explanation: that visuospatial bias interacted with asymmetries in the paintings and the rating scales to produce the apparent relationship between emotion and visuospatial functions. In the present study, using both visual-analogue and numeric rating scales, the relationship between line bisection performance and ratings of paintings (evocative impact, aesthetics, novelty, technique, and closure) was examined in a young adult sample. We demonstrate that left-hand line bisection bias direction, not line bisection accuracy, is related to most ratings, and that line bisection bias interacts with stimulus orientation (non-mirrored/mirrored) and rating scale direction (ascending/descending) in such a way that can explain the results of the previous study. We conclude that the line bisection task appears to be a sensitive measure of visuospatial attentional biases, which can influence ratings of asymmetrical paintings, and may affect how individuals perceive stimuli in their environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-731
Number of pages23
JournalLaterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition
Issue number4-6
Early online date29 Jan 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jan 2016


  • Line bisection
  • visuospatial attention
  • emotion processing
  • temporoparietal
  • art


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