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Science. 2003 Jul 18;301(5631):384-6.

Lateralized cognitive processes and lateralized task control in the human brain.

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  • 1Institute of Medicine (IME), Research Centre Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany.


The principles underlying human hemispheric specialization are poorly understood. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging of letter and visuospatial decision tasks with identical word stimuli to address two unresolved problems. First, hemispheric specialization depended on the nature of the task rather than on the nature of the stimulus. Second, analysis of frontal candidate regions for cognitive control showed increased coupling between left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and left inferior frontal gyrus during letter decisions, whereas right ACC showed enhanced coupling with right parietal areas during visuospatial decisions. Cognitive control is thus localized in the same hemisphere as task execution.

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