Cerebral Lateralization is Norman Geschwind's last and perhaps most controversial work. Cowritten with Albert M. Galaburda, it presents his bold theory of left-handedness and brain development, exploring as no other current study has done the biology behind cerebral dominance or the specialization of the left and right sides of the brain for different functions.
This book, which illustrates and expands material that appeared in three issues of The Archives of Neurology, provides extensive discussions of the anatomical and chemical differences between the hemispheres, their development in fetal life, their evolution, and their relationship to hemispheric function. The various factors that affect brain structure—endocrinological, immunological, and genetic—particularly dominance characteristics in intrauterine life, are fully covered, offering new insights into the nature-nurture question and pointing up the importance of the fetal environment in altering the properties of the brain.
Many other intriguing areas are explored - the evidence for anatomical asymmetry during evolution and in other species, the concept of handedness and problems of its assessment, anatomical alterations in the brains of dyslexics, the advantages and disadvantages of cerebral dominance such as the elevated rate of left-handedness in certain highly skilled occupations, its association with childhood learning disorders, immune disease, and twinning. Seyeral sections are devoted to diseases with unilateral predominance in the brain or the body and those associated with particular dominance patterns.
The final chapter, which deals with asymmetries in physics and chemistry and their possible relationship to the eventual development of dominance in both humans and other species, shows the importance of asymmetry of the nervous system in probably all animals.
Norman Geschwind, M.D. (1926-1984) was James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Director of the Neurological Unit, Beth Israel Hospital, and Professor of Psychology at MIT. Albert M. Galaburda, M.D. is Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. A Bradford Book.
Neurobiologists and cognitive scientists agree that there is a need for a biologically consistent and realistic description of human cognition. The six essays in this book focus on the empirically answerable issue of whether and to what extent it is possible to explain observations about the mind in terms of observations about the brain. They provide wide-ranging examples of this exciting, ongoing endeavor to provide a neurobiology of cognition from grand scheme attempts to explain the full extent of human cognition, through an examination of the functional structures for echolocation in the bat and the possibilities for its neuronal instantiation, to the cellular and molecular structures of memory and learning.
Peter D. Eimas is Professor of Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences and Professor of Psychology at Brown University. Albert M. Galaburda, M.D., is Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School.
Contents: Some Agenda Item for a Neurobiology of Cognition: An Introduction, Peter D. Eimas, Albert M. Galaburda. Time-Locked Multiregional Retroactivation: A Systems-Level Proposal for the Neural Substrates of Recall and Recognition, Antonio R. Damasio. Neuronal Models of Cognitive Functions, Jean-Pierre Changeux, Stanislas Dehaene. Seeking the Neurobiological Bases of Speech Perception, Joanne L. Miller, Peter W. Jusczyk. Perception and its Neuronal Mechanisms, Richard Held. A View of the World Through the Bat's Ear: The Formation of Acoustic Images in Echolocation, James A. Simmons. The Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Carl W. Cotman, Gary S. Lynch.
Advances in cognitive science are leading to new knowledge of human language development and its underlying mechanisms. The contributions in this book apply recent advances in neurobiology, developmental neuropathology behavioral neurology, psycholinguistics, and computational models of learning and cognition to outstanding questions about the acquisition of language in humans, with special emphasis on dyslexia and related developmental disorders.
The formal approach to developmental disorders of cognition presented here promises to help answer outstanding questions about human linguistic disposition, language acquisition, developmental deviance, diversity, and breakdown.
Albert M. Galaburda, M.D., is Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Dyslexia Neuroanatomical Laboratory at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. He collaborated with Norman Geschwind on Cerebral Lateralization. From Reading to Neurons is included in the series Issues in the Biology of Language and Cognition, edited by John P. Marshall. A Bradford Book