Barbara Rutherford

Professor Emeritus


Research Summary

Communication between the hemispheres of the brain during reading in people with and without a reading disability such as dyslexia; developmental trends in hemispheric specialization for reading.

Courses & Teaching

Memory; cognitive processes.


Google Scholar


BPhEd University of Alberta
MSc University of Alberta
PhD University of Auckland

Research Interests & Projects

My research investigates hemispheric interaction by measuring whether two hemispheres are better, worse, or not different from one. I also map ways in which hemispheric communication is normal or abnormal in people with a reading problem. To date, my findings suggest that competent reading is associated with the gradual shutting down of processing by the right hemisphere, and that this does not consistently happen in people with a reading disability such as dyslexia.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Hughes, A. J. & Rutherford, B.J. (2013). Hemispheric interaction, task complexity, and emotional valence: Evidence from naturalistic images.  Brain and Cognition, 81, 167-175.

Rutherford, B.J. & Mathesius, J.R. (2012). The Brain’s Hemispheres and Controlled Search of the Lexicon: Evidence From Fixated Words and Pseudowords.  Brain and Cognition, 79, 188-199.


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