Hemispheric Asymmetry of Function in Children

  • Felix Barroso


One of the many intriguing characteristics of the human brain is that it functions asymmetrically. This, of course, does not necessarily imply that one side is “dominant”-which, as Ornstein (1972) so keenly points out, is basically a societal distinction-but, instead, that the two hemispheres are not alike with respect to their abilities to handle different cognitive and perceptual functions. It is by now fairly well established that the right hemisphere is involved, primarily, in nonverbal, visuospatial, holistic processing, and the left in sequential, propositional, logical, and verbal—or linguistic—activities. This is a well-documented fact in the pathological literature and there are several excellent sources dealing with it (Mountcastle, 1962; Kinsbourne and Smith, 1974; Dimond and Beaumont, 1974), so this material need not be reviewed here. Additionally, data from work with normals using dichotic listening techniques (Cannon and Nachson, 1973; Bever and Chiarello, 1974; Kimura, 1961), and brief, lateralized visual presentations (Cohen, 1972; Kimura, 1966; Gross, 1972; Geffen, Brad-shaw, and Wallace, 1971; Filbey and Gazzaniga, 1969; Durnford and Kimura, 1971) have confirmed and expanded the pathological findings.


Left Hemisphere Hemispheric Asymmetry Left Visual Field Verbal Task Dichotic Listening 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Felix Barroso
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry SUNYDownstate Medical CenterBrooklynUSA

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