Current Psychology

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 301–312 | Cite as

Pharmacological effects on lateralized behavior

  • L. R. Hartley
  • L. Coxon
  • J. Spencer


Sixteen student volunteers were administered a placebo and 50 mg. of chlorpromazine in tablet form, on separate occasions, two hours before testing. The three tests measured dichotic listening performance, lateral eye movements while answering questions about spatial location and verbal meaning, and lateralized facial expression while relating pleasant and unpleasant life incidents. Results showed that chlorpromazine increased the number of trials showing an ear advantage in dichotic listening. Chlorpromazine reduced lateral and increased vertical eye movements in response to the questions about spatial location and verbal meaning. Under the placebo both negative and positive emotions were expressed more in the left face. Although chlorpromazine did not affect this lateralization of negative emotions, the expression of positive emotions occurred equally often on the two sides of the face under chlorpromazine. Results may be related to an effect of chlorpromazine on the asymmetrical dopamine pathways of the brain. It is suggested that the findings may be related to a left hemisphere deficit in schizophrenia.


Schizophrenia Facial Expression Positive Emotion Chlorpromazine Dichotic Listening 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. R. Hartley
    • 1
  • L. Coxon
    • 1
  • J. Spencer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMurdoch UniversityAustralia
  2. 2.Alcohol and Drug Authority

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