Right-hemispheric Superiority in Split-Brain Monkeys for Learning and Remembering Facial Discriminations

Behav Neurosci. 1998 Oct;112(5):1048-61. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.112.5.1048.


Twenty-six split-brain rhesus monkeys learned and remembered 8 go/no-go discriminations of monkey faces significantly better with the right hemisphere than with the left. Four discriminations required differentiating individual identity with expression held constant, and 4 required discriminating facial expression with identity held constant. There was no significant difference in the degree of laterality shown for these 2 types of problems. Female monkeys were more lateralized for learning to discriminate faces than were males. This sex difference in laterality was significant for learning but not for memory. Laterality for the facial discriminations was not significantly related to handedness of the monkeys. Overall, rhesus monkeys, like humans, show a right-hemispheric superiority for facial processing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / surgery
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Sex Characteristics