Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Left and Right brain hemispheres

The first evidence that the hemispheres are different came from the French neurologist Paul Broca. In 1863, his words "We speak with left hemisphere" based on his patient with the inability to speak (aphasia) who turned out to have a tumor in the left frontal lobe. This work thus clearly established that the left hemisphere is "dominant" for a specific function, speech.
Until the 1950s, this stood as an isolated exception to what appeared to be the general equivalence of the two hemispheres in all their other function, sensory and motor.
Sperry the Nobel Prize in 1981, led to our present concept of the laterality of higher functions in the human brain.
The left hemisphere is dominant for control of speech, language, complex voluntary movement, reading, writing, and arithmetic calculations.
The right hemisphere is specialized for mainly nonlinguistic functions: complex pattern recognition vision, audition, and the tactile senses; the sense of space, spatial shapes, and direction in space; the sense of intuition.


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