The Psychobiology of Affective Development

By Nathan A. Fox; Richard J. Davidson | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Cerebral Asymmetry and Behavioral Laterality: Some Psychobiological Considerations
Victor H. Denenberg
Michael J. Hofmann
Glenn D. Rosen
David A. Yutzey
University of Connecticut


This chapter has four purposes. First, we review the literature showing that the brains of a variety of animals are asymmetrical with regard to anatomical structure and behavioral functions. We then show that early experiences can induce laterality or modify laterality already present in the rat. Next, we discuss the anatomical and physiological properties of the corpus callosurn and how those properties are changed by visual experience during development. Finally, we suggest a mechanism involving the corpus callosum by which early experiences may induce or modify cerebral laterality in animals.

Although affective behavior is our primary concern, the review includes other literature as well, in order to place the discussion of affective processes into their proper context. Before getting to our review, it is necessary to introduce a few general concepts concerning lateralization of brain-behavior processes.

Population and Individual Laterality

There are important differences between laterality in an individual and laterality in a population. Population laterality occurs when more than half the organisms in that population are asymmetrically biased toward one side or the other. For example, the great majority of humans are right-handed. Also, whether right- or left-handed, most humans have the neural substrate for speech in their left hemisphere.

If the population is lateralized, then the individuals making up that population must possess brain-behavior asymmetry. However, the converse is not necessarily true: that is, organisms as individuals can be asymmetrical without the


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Psychobiology of Affective Development


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 410

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?