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The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens$
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T. J. Crow

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263112

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263112.001.0001

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Bihemispheric Language: How the Two Hemispheres Collaborate in the Processing of Language

Bihemispheric Language: How the Two Hemispheres Collaborate in the Processing of Language

Chapter:
(p.169) Bihemispheric Language: How the Two Hemispheres Collaborate in the Processing of Language
Source:
The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens
Author(s):

Norman D. Cook

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263112.003.0010

Speech production in most people is strongly lateralized to the left hemisphere (LH), but language understanding is generally a bilateral activity. At every level of linguistic processing that has been investigated experimentally, the right hemisphere (RH) has been found to make characteristic contributions, from the processing of the affective aspects of intonation, through the appreciation of word connotations, the decoding of the meaning of metaphors and figures of speech, to the understanding of the overall coherency of verbal humour, paragraphs and short stories. If both hemispheres are indeed engaged in linguistic decoding and both processes are required to achieve a normal level of understanding, a central question concerns how the separate language functions on the left and right are integrated. This chapter reviews relevant studies on the hemispheric contributions to language processing and the role of interhemispheric communications in cognition.

Keywords:   left hemisphere, speech production, language understanding, linguistic decoding, interhemispheric communications

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