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Hemispheric specialisation in normal and disturbed development

Several studies were performed to search for the mechanisms and principles underlying the functional capacities of the two hemispheres. The studies performed both on patients with brain lesions and normal subjects showed that a variety of functions (e. g. perception of faces, stereoscopic depth, spatial frequency, visual illusion, tilt effects and other visual-spatial patterns) is mediated primarily by the right hemisphere. Moreover, they provided evidence that hemispheric differences may emerge at relatively early stage of processing. This changed the widely accepted view, which attributed the functional brain asymmetry to processes that occur at a higher cognitive level. Our data pointed to the importance of callosal communication. The accumulated data allowed to formulate a new dynamic model in which hemispheric specialisation is conceptualised as a complex system of different asymmetrically represented modules tied by callosal pathways that serve to integrate the operations carried out by those modules The research concerned also a controversial issue of the relationship between handedness and cerebral organisation. We have found that this relationship is modified by the sex factor.

Grabowska A, Nowicka A, Szymańska O, Szatkowska I. Subjective contours illusion: sex related effect of unilateral brain damage. NeuroReport, 12: 2289-2292, 2001

Grabowska A, Nowicka A, Szymańska O. Sex related effect of unilateral brain lesions on the perception of the Mueller-Lyer illusion. Cortex , 35: 231-241, 1999

Nowicka A, Grabowska A, Fersten E. Interhemispheric transmission of information and functional asymmetry of the human brain. Neuropsychologia, 34: 147-151, 1996

Grabowska A, Nowicka A. Visual-spatial model of cerebral asymmetry: A critical survey of behavioural and electrophysiological studies. Psychol. Bull., 120: 434-449, 1996


Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology (c) 2015