Human Brain: Left-Right Asymmetries in Temporal Speech Region

  • Norman Geschwind
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 16)


At the time Walter Levitsky and I published this paper the prevailing view was that there were no significant anatomical asymmetries between the hemispheres and that the cause of cerebral dominance would have to be sought in purely physiological or in subtle anatomical differences between the two sides. Since the publication of this paper the results reported here have been replicated by several groups. Juhn Wada’s report at the International Neurological Congress in 1969 not only confirmed our findings in adults, but also reported the presence of these asymmetries in the brains of fetuses and new-borns. More recently Teszner (1972) in Paris and Witelson and Pallie (1973) in Canada have added further confirmations. The statistics in all these series have been very close in value. Dr. William Sheremata and I have as yet unpublished data showing a correlation between the larger left temporal plane and the longer left occipital horn described by McRae et at. (1968). As a result of this correlation it will be possible to make a rough prediction as to the presence of anatomical asymmetry on the basis of pneumoencephalographic findings. The development of elaborate computerized scanning devices should make it possible to determine the size of the left occipital horn non-invasively. In fact it is possible that by suitable programming it will be possible to determine directly the size of the temporal plane on the two sides.


Sylvian Fissure Planum Temporale Cerebral Dominance Aphasic Patient Anatomical Asymmetry 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Geschwind
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolUSA

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