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Human Laterality - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780121881801, 9780323158466

Human Laterality

1st Edition

Author: Michael Corballis
eBook ISBN: 9780323158466
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st September 1983
Page Count: 270
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Human Laterality presents the main facts of human laterality as they are known. Drawing on evidence from normal, intact human beings and neurological patients, along with material on asymmetries in other species, this book traces the development of laterality, its evolution, and inheritance. This text also reviews the literature on the relation between laterality and developmental disorders of speech and language, including dyslexia, stuttering, and dysphasia. This book is organized into nine chapters and begins with an overview of the development of knowledge and ideas about laterality over the course of history. This text gives an account of the myths that abound regarding handedness, including the association of right with male and left with female, with the goal of demythologizing human laterality. It argues that there is a common basis to both handedness and cerebral lateralization, and indeed to other manifestations of human laterality such as eyedness and footedness, and that lateralization is fundamentally biological rather than sociocultural. Human laterality is also seen as an innate disposition rather than a matter of learning or imitation. In the final chapter, this book speculates about the possible origins of laterality in the fundamental asymmetries of living molecules and of particle physics. This book is essential reading for biologists and researchers interested in the human anatomy.

Table of Contents


1 Laterality and Myth

Handedness and Myth

Cerebral Asymmetry and Myth

New Myths for Old?

2 Human Handedness

The Measurement of Handedness

Right-Handedness: Biological or Cultural?



3 Functional Asymmetry of the Human Drain

Lateralized Representation of Language

Left-Hemispheric Specialization for Nonverbal Functions

Right-Hemispheric Specialization


4 Relations between Handedness and Cerebral Lateralization

Historical Background

Sodium Amytal Test

Electroconvulsive Therapy Studies

Effects of Unilateral Lesions

Anatomical Asymmetries

Perceptual Asymmetries in Normal Subjects

Summary and Interpretation

5 Development of Laterality

Neonatal Reflexes


Cerebral Lateralization

Theoretical Overview

6 Evolution of Laterality

Empirical Findings

Theoretical Review


7 Inheritance of Laterality

Biological Background

Genetic Models of Laterality


8 Congenital Disorders of Speech and Language

Developmental Dyslexia


Developmental Dysphasia


9 Overview


Author Index

Subject Index


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1983
1st September 1983
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Michael Corballis

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