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Laterality. 2011 Jul;16(4):401-22. doi: 10.1080/13576501003702655.

Dichotic listening performance suggests right hemisphere involvement in PTSD.

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Bergen Cognition and Learning Group, The University of Bergen, Norway.


The present study focuses on language laterality as measured with dichotic listening (DL) to consonant-vowel syllables (CV syllables) in refugees with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is associated with impaired callosal transfer and with increased right hemisphere activation and impaired executive skills that could influence the processing of dichotic stimuli. A total of 22 participants with PTSD were compared to 23 participants without a diagnosis of PTSD. All participants had similar experiences of acts of war and political violence. They were tested with dichotic listening to CV syllables with free recall and directed attention following the forced attention paradigm. The PTSD group showed increased right ear advantage due to impaired left ear reporting and also smaller attention modulation compared to the control group, and the performance shared variance with self-report measures of arousal and intrusive memories. The results are discussed towards a model of impaired functionality of the frontal lobe and right hemisphere versus impaired callosal transfer, both yielding predictions for the processing of the left ear input and the ability to attention modulation of the performance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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