Abstract Right-handed people were asked to decide whether or not stimuli presented in the left visual hemifield (LVF) or in the right visual hemifield (RVF) were faces. Manual reaction times and error rates were recorded under three conditions. In Condition A, stimuli were line drawings of faces and moderately scrambled nonfaces made by rearranging the facial features. In Condition B, stimuli were line drawings of faces and highly scrambled nonfaces. In Condition C, stimuli were line drawings of faces and objects. The results show that faces are identified more quickly from the LVF than from the RVF in Condition A (faces vs moderately scrambled nonfaces), with no visual hemifield difference in reaction times to Condition B (faces vs highly scrambled nonfaces) and Condition C (faces vs objects). These findings are taken to indicate that both cerebral hemispheres are able to assign stimuli to the “face” category, but the right hemisphere is better than the left hemisphere at constructing facial representations. This cerebral hemisphere difference in ability to construct facial representations becomes evident when a detailed representation is required (as in Condition A).