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The Many Sides of Hemispheric Asymmetry: A Selective Review and Outlook

  • Michael C. Corballis (a1) and Isabelle S. Häberling (a2)

Hemispheric asymmetry is commonly viewed as a dual system, unique to humans, with the two sides of the human brain in complementary roles. To the contrary, modern research shows that cerebral and behavioral asymmetries are widespread in the animal kingdom, and that the concept of duality is an oversimplification. The brain has many networks serving different functions; these are differentially lateralized, and involve many genes. Unlike the asymmetries of the internal organs, brain asymmetry is variable, with a significant minority of the population showing reversed asymmetries or the absence of asymmetry. This variability may underlie the divisions of labor and the specializations that sustain social life. (JINS, 2017, 23, 710–718)

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Correspondence and reprint requests to: Michael C. Corballis, School of Psychology, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. E-mail:
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