Dichotic perception and laterality in neonates

Brain Lang. 1989 Nov;37(4):591-605. doi: 10.1016/0093-934x(89)90113-2.


Groups of 4-day-old neonates were tested for dichotic discrimination and ear differences with the High-Amplitude-Sucking procedure. In the first experiment, dichotic speech discrimination was attested by comparison with a control group. Furthermore, among those subjects who showed a substantial recovery of sucking response at least after one of the two syllable changes, it was observed that significantly more subjects manifested a stronger reaction to a right-ear change than to a left-ear change. In the second experiment, 4-day-old neonates were tested on syllable and music timbre discrimination. The significant Stimulus Type x Ear interaction observed suggests perceptual asymmetries indicative of very precocious brain specialization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arousal*
  • Dichotic Listening Tests*
  • Dominance, Cerebral*
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic
  • Hearing Tests*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / psychology*
  • Music
  • Phonetics*
  • Speech Perception*
  • Sucking Behavior