Emotion-related hemisphere asymmetry: subjective emotional responses to laterally presented films

Cortex. 1993 Sep;29(3):431-48. doi: 10.1016/s0010-9452(13)80252-3.


To investigate whether the cerebral hemispheres differ in their subjective emotional responses 54 adult subjects were presented two films of different emotion-related qualities (positive and negative film) either to their left or right hemisphere. The films were exposed by means of a technique for the lateralization of visual input that allows prolonged viewing while permitting free ocular scanning. Subjective emotional responses were assessed by means of a continuous rating of emotional arousal experienced during the movie as well as by retrospective ratings of ten different emotional qualities. Presenting both films to the right hemisphere resulted in stronger subjective responses in the continuous emotion rating as well as in some retrospectively assessed ratings compared to left-hemispheric presentation. The effects were more pronounced for the negative film. Taken together, the findings suggest a higher responsiveness of the right hemisphere in subjective emotional experience.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies