View Full Version : The Evolution of Hemispheric Specialization

Friday, September 23rd, 2005, 10:51 AM

The Evolution of Hemispheric Specialization

Asymmetries of the cerebral hemispheres have long
been reported in the human brain and recently have
been demonstrated in many primate species and
extinct hominid species. Recent evidence indicates
that the human brain can also show asymmetrical
organization at the microanatomical level in regions
that are known to be functionally lateralized. These
microanatomical specializations may have become
lateralized due to their dependence on hemispheric
asymmetries that were already present in the
mammalian brain. Future studies that examine the
development of these microanatomical asymmetries
and whether they are present in other species will
help to constrain evolutionary explanations of
hemispheric specialization.


Friday, September 23rd, 2005, 07:29 PM
Good find. :) This article seems to give a good overview of the literature. I wish I could comment more, but I have a tremendous headache today and barely even read what was in the article. I have studied this are over the course of my education, and there is so much more to it than even this article points out. The brain, as many of you know,is an area that we still know so little about. There is so much research on it that cannot be done because of ethical problems-- for example, you cannot just open up the skull of a living person and begin poking around in the brain. Usually we learn the most from individual case studies of individuals who have experienced some type of trauma to the brain. As the knowledge of the barin increases, and technology increases, we can begin using technology to manipulate parts of the brain in an ethical manner. For example, we can use technology to measure what parts of the brain are active when an individual does certain activites.

Anyhow, can I point something out? Since I get tired of hearing that Psychology is not a science, or is a soft science, I just wanted to point out that if you look under the list of authors on the left side of the article, you will see the words "Psychology Department." ;) Did anyone see the new tv show "Bones?" The main character kept going on and on about how Psychology is a "soft science." :oanieyes Yet she allowed fetal bones at a crime scene to escape her attention and be passed off as frog bones-- until much later in the show when she had a sudden insight and asked to see the frog bones again. :thumbdown

The one author, Gazzaniga, has a really good book out that I was recommending to Siegmund in the shoutbox the other day. It is called "The Mind's Past." This book is not specifically about brain lateralization though, so not entirely on the same subject as the article above.

One researcher who studies the brain and has done alot of really fascinating work with individuals who have epilepsy or have had trauma to the brain-- is Ramachandran. http://psy.ucsd.edu/chip/ramabio.html
Look under publications on his site and there are links to the articles on there. (Notice in his biography that he also works in the Psychology department.) ;)