How and why do the two cerebral hemispheres interact?

Psychol Bull. 1994 Sep;116(2):195-219. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.116.2.195.


Research on the anatomical bases of interhemispheric interaction, including individual differences in corpus callosum (CC) anatomy, is reviewed. These anatomical findings form the basis for the discussion of two major themes. The first considers interhemispheric transfer time (IHTT) and related issues. These include varieties of IHTT and possible directional asymmetries of IHTT. Evidence suggests that pathological variations in IHTT may have cognitive consequences. The second involves conditions under which interhemispheric interaction is necessary and beneficial. The data suggest that when both hemispheres have some competence at a difficult task, there is a benefit to interhemispheric interaction. The role of the CC in the dynamic distribution of attention may be particularly relevant to this advantage. Throughout the article reference is made to individual differences and developmental changes associated with interhemispheric interaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Corpus Callosum / anatomy & histology
  • Corpus Callosum / surgery
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Handwriting
  • Humans
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Reaction Time
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Fields / physiology