When Is a Word Not a Word?

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Science  18 Jul 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5631, pp. 322-323
DOI: 10.1126/science.1087853

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It has long been debated whether specialization of the left and right brain hemispheres with regard to language depends on the linguistic stimulus itself or on the task that must be performed with that stimulus. In their Perspective, McIntosh and Lobaugh discuss new work ( Stephan et al .) that resolves this debate, showing that it is the task to be performed with a linguistic stimulus that dictates which hemisphere is the most active.