Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Dominance (Cerebral)

  • John E. MendozaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_683


This concept refers to the observation that each cerebral hemisphere is preeminent with regard to a particular behavioral function(s).

Current Knowledge

The notion of cerebral dominance dates to the middle of the nineteenth century when language was first widely recognized as primarily organized in the left hemisphere. In addition, it was noted that the left hemisphere controlled the right hand, the preferred hand for writing, and executing most other skilled unimanual tasks in the majority of individuals. Thus, in its most restricted and common usage, the term “dominant (cerebral) hemisphere” denotes the hemisphere that is primarily responsible for expressing and understanding propositional speech or language and, in right-handers at least, the hemisphere that controls the dominant hand. Since in most cases this is the left hemisphere, until shown otherwise, the dominant hemisphereis generally considered to be the left, especially in right-handed individuals. For...

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References and Readings

  1. Cytowic, R. E. (1996). The neurological side of neuropsychology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Geschwind, N., & Galaburda, A. M. (Eds.). (1984). Cerebral dominance: The biological foundations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Kinsbourne, M. (Ed.). (1978). Asymmetrical function of the brain. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Mountcastle, V. B. (1962). Interhemispheric relations and cerebral dominance. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and NeuroscienceTulane Medical School and SE Louisiana Veterans Healthcare SystemNew OrleansUSA