Topographic Brain Mapping of Emotion-Related Hemisphere Activity and Susceptibility to Psychosomatic Disorders

  • W. Wittling
  • R. Roschmann
  • E. Schweiger
Conference paper


There is some evidence that the cerebral hemispheres markedly differ in their capability to regulate physiological processes during emotional situations. The right hemisphere plays an especially dominant role in the control of emotion-related cardiovascular and neuroendocrine responses (Hugdahl et al. 1983; Wittling 1990; Wittling and Pflüger 1990). Moreover, deviations from the normal pattern of functional hemisphere asymmetry may be associated with a heightened risk for developing psychosomatic and autoimmune disorders. Geschwind and Behan (1982, 1984) were the first to show that left-handedness is up to three times more frequent in psychosomatic disordered individuals. These findings have been widely confirmed in further studies (Lelong et al. 1986; Smith 1987; Searleman and Fugagli 1987; Betancur et al. 1990).


Emotional Stimulus Neutral Stimulus Cerebral Dominance Psychosomatic Disorder Psychosomatic Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Betancur C, Vélez A, Cabanieu G, LeMoal M, Neveu PJ (1990) Association between left-handedness and allergy: a reappraisal. Neuropsychologia 28: 223–227PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Duffy FH, Burchfiel JL, Lombroso CT (1979) Brain electrical activity mapping (BEAM): A method for extending the clinical utility of EEG and evoked potentialdata. Ann Neurol 5:309–321PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Duffy FH, Bartels PH, Burchfiel JL (1981) Significance probability mapping: an aid in the topographic analysis of brain electrical activity. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 51:445–462Google Scholar
  4. Fahrenberg J, Hampel R, Selg H (1984) Das Freiburger Persönlichkeitsinventar (FPI-R). Hogrefe, GöttingenGoogle Scholar
  5. Geschwind N, Behan PO (1982) Left-handedness: association with immune disease, migraine and developmental learning disorder. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 79: 5097–5100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Geschwind N, Behan PO (1984) Laterality, hormones, and immunity. In: Geschwind N, Galaburda A (eds) Cerebral dominance. The biological foundations. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  7. Hughdahl K, Franzon M, Andersson B, Walldebo G (1983) Heart rate responses (HRR) to lateralized visual stimuli. Pavlovian J Biol Sci 18:186–198Google Scholar
  8. Lelong M, Thelliez F, Thelliez P (1986) Les gauchers sont-ils plus souvent des allergiques? Allerg Immunol 18:10–13Google Scholar
  9. Roschmann R (1990) Emotionale Reizverarbeitung in den zerebralen Hemisphôren. Untersuchung zur Topographie ereigniskorrelierter Potentiale bei emotions-bezogener visueller Stimulation. Pustet, RegensburgGoogle Scholar
  10. Roschmann R, Wittling W (1992) Topographic brain mapping of emotion-related hemisphere asymmetries. Int J Neurosci 63:5–16PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Searleman A, Fugagli AK (1987) Suspected autoimmune disorders and left-handedness: Evidence from individuals with diabetes, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Neuropsychologia 25:367–374PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Smith J (1987) Left-handedness: its association with allergic disease. Neuropsychologia 25:665–674PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Wittling W (1990) Psychophysiological correlates of human brain asymmetry: blood pressure changes during lateralized presentation of an emotionally laden film. Neuropsychologia 28:457–470PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Wittling W, Pflüger M (1990) Neuroendocrine hemisphere asymmetries: salivary cortisol secretion during lateralized viewing of emotion-related and neutral films. Brain Cogn 14:243–265PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Wittling W, Pflüger M, Schweiger E (1990) Zerebrale Hemisphären-Anomalien: Ein Risikofaktor für die Genese psychosomatischer Störungen. In: Frey D (ed) Bericht über den 37. Kongreß der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie in Kiel. Hogrefe, Göttingen, pp 696–697Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Wittling
    • 1
  • R. Roschmann
  • E. Schweiger
  1. 1.Abt. für Physiologische und Klinische PsychologieKath. Universität EichstättEichstättGermany

Personalised recommendations