Q; WHY left hemisphere language?

Kevin Spencer kspencer at s.psych.uiuc.edu
Thu Feb 16 12:45:35 EST 1995


rmallott at percep.demon.co.uk (rmallott) writes:

[deleted]

>the answer becomes rather straightforward. Language is left-lateralized 
>because it evolved from left-localized dominant motor control and functions 
>as essentially a motor (articulatory) activity. These issues were discussed 
>at the 1994 Berkeley meeting of the Language Origins Society.

This account begs the question of why the left hemisphere was dominant in
motor control to begin with.  The members of many species show hemispheric
dominance -- they may prefer to use the right paw or left, for example --
but they are randomly distributed across the population, so that half of
the members are left-dominant and half right-dominant.  Not so for humans. 
We are still trying to understand why the outcome of brain and cognitive
development in humans leads is biased towards specializing the LH for
language/motor functions and the RH for "visuospatial" functions.

Kevin



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