Cerebral Lateralization and Function
March 24, 2011
Studies have been conducted on cerebral lateralization and functionality of the human brain. Many studies have revealed there are no substantial differences of the left and right hemispheres of the human brain (Pinel, 2009). Some functional differences have shown one hemisphere may be slightly dominating for functional differences (Pinel, 2009). “It is widely believed that the left hemisphere has exclusive control over language and the right hemisphere has exclusive control over emotion and creativity” (Pinel, 2009, p. 411). However, research indicates language functions have substantial activity in the left and right hemispheres of the brain (Pinel, 2009). Cerebral lateralization research has several methods help gain better understanding of the functions of the brain. The sodium amytal test is one method used in cerebral lateralization research. With this test researchers can access language abilities before neurosurgery (Pinel, 2009). In the amytal test, sodium amytal is injected into a patient’s carotid artery of the neck (Pinel, 2009). This injection anesthetizes the hemisphere on the side of the injection and allows the other hemisphere capacities to be assessed for language abilities (Pinel, 2009). The dichotic listening test method of cerebral lateralization allows the use of healthy individuals (Pinel, 2009). During the dichotic listening test, “three pairs of spoken digits are presented through earphones: the digits of each par are presented simultaneously, one to each ear” (Pinel, 2009, p. 402-403). For example, the person taking the test may hear six, nine, four in one ear and at the same time hear the numbers three, five, two in the other ear (Pinel, 2009). Te dichotic listening test show most individuals show left-hemisphere dominance for hearing because the right ear registers slightly more (Pinel, 2009). Functional brain imaging techniques can record brain functions
References: Amen, Daniel G. (2000). Change Your Brain Change Your Life. NY: Three Rivers Press. Pinel, J. P. J. (2009). Biopsychology. Boston, MA: Pearson.