The cerebral hemispheres are derived from the telencephalon. They arise five weeks after conception as bilateral invaginations of the walls. The hemispheres grow round in a C-shape and then back again, pulling all structures internal to the hemispheres (such as the ventricles) with them. The interventricular foramen (sometimes called the interventricular foramena of munro) allows communication with the lateral ventricle. The choroid plexus is formed from ependymal cells and vascular mesenchyme.
Broad generalizations are often made in popular psychology about certain function (eg. logic, creativity) being lateralised, that is, located in the right or left side of the brain. These ideas need to be treated carefully because the popular lateralizations are often distributed across both sides. In many instances, the focus of the laterization entails functions attributable to very specific brain regions and in other instances distributed activations associated with more than one brain region. However, there is some division of mental processing. Researchers have been investigating to what extent areas of the brain are specialized for certain functions. If a specific region of the brain is injured or destroyed, their functions can sometimes be recovered by neighboring brain regions — even opposite hemispheres. This depends more on the age and the damage occurred than anything else.
The best evidence of lateralization for one specific ability is language. Both of the major areas involved in language skills, Broca's area and Wernicke's area, are in the left hemisphere. Perceptual information from the eyes, ears, and rest of the body is sent to the opposite hemisphere, and motor information sent out to the body also comes from the opposite hemisphere (see also primary sensory areas).
Neuropsychologists (e.g. Roger Sperry, Michael Gazzaniga) have studied split-brain patients to better understand lateralization. Sperry pioneered the use of lateralized tachistoscopes to present visual information to one hemisphere or the other. Scientists have also studied people born without a corpus callosum to determine specialization of brain hemispheres.
The magnocellular pathway of the visual system sends more information to the right hemisphere, while the parvocellular pathway sends more information to the left hemisphere. There are higher levels of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine on the right and higher levels of dopamine on the left. There is more white-matter (longer axons) on right and more grey-matter (cell bodies) on the left.
Linear reasoning functions of language such as grammar and word production are often lateralized to the left hemisphere of the brain. In contrast, holistic reasoning functions of language such as intonation and emphasis are often lateralized to the right hemisphere of the brain. Other integrative functions such as intuitive or heuristic arithmetic, binaural sound localization, emotions, etc. seem to be more bilaterally controlled.
|Left brain functions||Right brain functions|
|linear algorithmic processing||holistical algorithmic processing|
|mathematics: perception of counting/measurement||mathematics: perception of shapes/motions|
|present and past||present and future|
|language: grammar/words, pattern perception, literal||language: intonation/emphasis, prosody, pragmatic, contextual|
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Jul 01, 1991; A problem frequently experienced by people with right cerebral hemisphere lesions is that of difficulty "finding the way around."...
A Case of Aphasia and Apraxia of Speech after Status Epilepticus and Right Cerebral Hemiatrophy in a Developmental Left-Handed Person
Mar 01, 2011; Localizationists generally accept that the left cerebral hemisphere in most individuals is responsible for speech and language...