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Bull Menninger Clin. 1995 Fall;59(4):480-6.

The comforting substrate and the right brain.

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Child Guidance Clinic for Central Connecticut, USA.


The author tested the hypothesis that the comforting substrate is located in the right parietal area of the brain. Sixty subjects (39 women, 21 men) were given two forced-choice tasks treated as comparison experiments. Given the choice between two identical bright red balls (one on the left and one on the right), only 20% of the right-handed subjects chose the left ball (p < .01). Given the choice between identical stuffed, white bears, which were described as grieving and urgently in need of comfort, 54.5% of the subjects chose the left bear (p < .05, with ball selection as control and analyzed by the binomial). Considering only discordant pairs (left bear-right ball combination or vice versa), 20 of 23 subjects chose the left bear (p < .0002). Results suggest the possibility that right-brain lateralization of the comforting substrate is more pronounced among females, especially mothers.

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