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Cortex. 2005 Oct;41(5):695-704; discussion 731-4.

The right hemisphere and the dark side of consciousness.

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Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA.


Self-awareness and Theory of Mind comprise the main elements of higher-order consciousness. In attempting to localize these abilities, it appears that regions of the right hemisphere including fronto-temporal regions are capable of sustaining a sense of self-awareness. The right hemisphere appears dominant for tasks involving Theory of Mind as well as deception, which may be important for understanding the brain and laterality in terms of evolution. These findings are critical for our understanding of hemispheric differences in terms of higher-order consciousness.

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