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Behav Neurosci. 1993 Oct;107(5):844-50.

Functional lateralization for auditory temporal processing in male and female rats.

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Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers State University of New Jersey 07102.


In 3 studies adult male rats showed significantly better discrimination of tone sequences with the right ear than with the left ear. This result parallels similar findings of left-hemisphere specialization for auditory temporal processing in humans and nonhuman primates. Furthermore, because clinical evidence supports a link between specialization of the left hemisphere for auditory temporal processing and for speech processing, these results may reflect evolutionary precursors to left-hemisphere language specialization. Because male rats showed a stronger ear advantage than female rats, the findings may relate to evidence of a stronger right ear advantage in men than in women. Finally, results suggest that neonatal handling enhances lateralization for auditory temporal processing in both sexes. Combined results implicate neuroendocrine mechanisms as important factors in the development of lateralization for auditory temporal processing.

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