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Left Brain, Right Brain? It Might Not Be So Clear-Cut

In an introductory neuroscience class, you might learn that each side of the brain deals with the opposite half of the world. For instance, the right hemisphere controls the muscles in the left half of the body, and vice versa. But a study by Professor Tony Ro (The Graduate Center, CUNY) and a colleague from Baylor College of Medicine shows that the lines might not be so clear-cut. The study’s results appear in the journal Cortex.

The researchers worked with volunteers who have damage to the right half of their brain as a result of stroke. It is common for people with this kind of damage to neglect the left half of their external world. The person might only shave the right half of their face, Ro said, or eat food only from the right half of their plate.

In the new study, however, the researchers found that the participants had distortions and delays in processing the right side of their vision as well.

 “The study shows that the right half of the brain is processing information from both sides of the world,” Ro said, “which is counter to how most people think of brain organization.”

Beyond SUM

Work By

Tony Ro (Presidential Professor, Psychology, Biology) | Profile 1

Colleges and Schools

The Graduate Center

Bonus Content

"Defying Conventional Thinking About the Brain" (The Graduate Center, CUNY)