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What is the function of the left cerebral hemisphere?

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Quick Answer

The function of the left cerebral hemisphere is controlling motor, visual and tactile movements of the right side of the body, according to the Merck Manual. It is generally dominant for language, while the right hemisphere is dominant for spatial attention.

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Full Answer

In general, information from the right side of the body goes to the left hemisphere, says Eric H. Chudler, the executive director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington. Thus, damage to the left side of the brain affects the right side of the body. The left hemisphere of around 95 percent of right-handed people is dominant for language, and the left side of the brain of about 60 to 70 percent of left-handed individuals is used for language. The two areas that control language are the Broca's area and Wernicke's area.

Chudler explains that the left hemisphere is normally more dominant for logical abilities, math and calculations, whereas the right hemisphere is dominant for spatial abilities, visual imagery, face recognition and music. Although both hemispheres have their own respective dominance, they work together to share information through the corpus callosum, a thick band of 200 to 250 million nerve fibers in the brain.

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