Hemispheric Asymmetry: What's Right and What's Left

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Harvard University Press, 1993 - Medical - 396 pages
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Is "right-brain" thought essentially creative, and "left-brain" strictly logical? Joseph B. Hellige argues that this view is far too simplistic. Surveying extensive data in the field of cognitive science, he disentangles scientific facts from popular assumptions about the brain's two hemispheres.

In Hemispheric Asymmetry, Hellige explains that the "right brain" and "left brain" are actually components of a much larger cognitive system encompassing cortical and subcortical structures, all of which interact to produce unity of thought and action. He further explores questions of whether hemispheric asymmetry is unique to humans, and how it might have evolved. This book is a valuable overview of hemispheric asymmetry and its evolutionary precedents.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Five Recurring Themes
3
Learning about Behavioral Asymmetries in Humans
5
The Consequences of Unilateral Brain Injury
6
SplitBrain Patients and the Positive Competence of Each Hemisphere
9
Perceptual Asymmetries in Neurologically Intact Individuals
13
Response Asymmetries in Neurologically Intact Individuals
20
The Plan of the Book
24
Practice
185
Hemispheric Ability Hemispheric Dominance and Metacontrol
186
Studies of SplitBrain Patients
187
Studies of Neurologically Intact Individuals
188
Determinants of Metacontrol
199
Summary and Conclusions
202
Individual Differences
207
Dimensions of Individual Variation
208

Summary and Conclusions
26
Behavioral Asymmetries in Humans
28
A Review of Behavioral Asymmetries
29
Language
35
Visuospatial Processing
40
Emotion
50
The Quest for a Fundamental Dichotomy
54
A Sampling of Suggested Dichotomies
55
Multitask Studies and the Quest for a Fundamental Dichotomy
58
Summary and Conclusions
61
Hemispheric Asymmetry and Components of Perception Cognition and Action
65
Language
68
Vision
73
Global versus Local Processing
74
Low versus High VisualSpatial Frequency
79
Coordinate versus Categorical Spatial Relations
89
Relationships among Components of Vision
96
Imagery
98
Attention
103
Regulation of Alertness
104
HemisphereSpecific Priming and Interference
105
Summary and Conclusions
109
Biological Asymmetries in the Human Brain
114
Pharmacological and Chemical Asymmetries
121
Callosal Connectivity
124
Biology and Behavior
129
Summary and Conclusions
133
Behavioral and Brain Asymmetries in Nonhuman Species
136
Motor Performance
137
Primates
138
Rodents
141
Other Species
145
Rodents
150
Other Species
151
Primates
152
Rodents
156
Birds
157
Dolphins
159
Motivation and Emotion
160
Rats
161
Chicks
162
Additional Evidence of Biological Asymmetry
163
Summary and Conclusions
165
Varieties of Interhemispheric Interaction
168
Cooperation between the Hemispheres
170
The Corpus Callosum
171
Subcortical Structures
176
Benefits and Costs of Interhemispheric Cooperation
179
Task Difficulty
180
Direction of Hemispheric Asymmetry
209
Magnitude of Hemispheric Asymmetry
212
Asymmetric Arousal of the Hemispheres
213
Complementarity of Asymmetries
218
Interhemispheric Communication
219
Handedness
221
Sex
232
Intellectual Abilities
239
Intellectual Precocity
241
Dyslexia
243
Psychopathology
246
Hemisphericity
251
Summary and Conclusions
256
Hemispheric Asymmetry across the Life Span
260
Does Hemispheric Asymmetry Develop?
261
Prenatal Asymmetries
264
The Rate of Maturation of the Two Hemispheres
265
CraniaFacial Development
271
Fetal Position
273
Snowball Mechanisms
276
Hemispheric Asymmetry from Birth through Young Adulthood
278
Language
280
Visuospattal Processing
285
Emotion
289
Biological Asymmetry
291
Hemispheric Asymmetry in Old Age
293
Do the Hemispheres Age Differently?
294
Aging and the Dimensions of Individual Variation
297
Summary and Conclusions
299
The Evolution of Hemispheric Asymmetry
303
Symmetry versus Asymmetry
304
Snowball Effects
307
Continuity across Species?
308
From Monkeys to Humans
312
The Emergence of Hominids and Humans
315
Milestones in Hominid Evolution
320
Walking Upright
321
Tool Manufacture and Use
323
Language
325
Prolonged Immaturity
326
Summary and Conclusions
329
Epilogue
334
The Five Themes Revisited
335
Toward a Model of Hemispheric Asymmetry
339
Concluding Comments
349
Bibliography
351
Index of Authors Cited
383
General Index
391
Copyright

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Page 380 - WAGNER, HN Jr, BURNS, HD DANNALS, RF, WONG, DF, LANGSTROM, B., DUELFER, T., FROST, JJ, RAVERT, HT, LINKS, JM, ROSENBLOOM, SB, LUKAS, SE, KRAMER, AV & KUHAR, MJ (1983) Imaging dopamine receptors in the human brain by positron tomography.

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About the author (1993)

Joseph B. Hellige is Professor of Psychology and Vice Provost for Academic Programs, University of Southern California.

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