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Neurology. 2001 Sep 25;57(6):1018-24.

Language and spatial attention can lateralize to the same hemisphere in healthy humans.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University of Münster, Germany. floeel@uni-muenster.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Disorders of language classically occur after left brain lesions, and disorders of spatial attention after right brain lesions. It is unclear whether the hemispheric dissociation of functions is a fixed pattern of brain organization.

OBJECTIVE:

The authors determined whether lateralization of language and lateralization of spatial attention also dissociate in people with atypical (i.e., right hemispheric) language dominance.

METHODS:

The authors selected 10 subjects with typical, i.e., left hemispheric, and 10 with atypical, i.e., right hemispheric, language representation on a random basis from a sample of 326 healthy volunteers examined with functional transcranial Doppler sonography (fTCD) for language dominance. In these subjects, hemispheric lateralization of cerebral perfusion during a line bisection task was determined with fTCD.

RESULTS:

The authors found a dissociation between dominance for language and spatial attention in all but four subjects. In the latter subjects, there was a significant lateralization to the right hemisphere for both tasks. The four subjects showed normal intellectual, linguistic, and spatial performance, with normal EEG and MRI scans of the brain.

CONCLUSION:

Even in the absence of brain pathology, the same hemisphere can be dominant in control of both language and spatial attention.

PMID:
11571327
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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