Hemispheric specialization and the neurology of emotion

Arch Neurol. 1983 Apr;40(4):195-202. doi: 10.1001/archneur.1983.04050040025003.


The regulation of such biologic drives as sex and aggression is a critical evolutionary function required of the nervous system. There is evidence that, in humans, the right hemisphere is dominant for many "emotional" functions. In the cortical regions involved in emotion, there are two important, complementary, sensorilimbic connective pathways: a dorsal system critical for surveillance, attention, and arousal and a ventral system specialized for stimulus identification, learning, and emotional response. Hemispheric specialization may introduce lateral asymmetries in these sensorilimbic connections, which could account for contrasting dominance in both emotional functions and some cognitive domains.

MeSH terms

  • Affect / physiology
  • Biological Evolution
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Drive / physiology
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological