ERIC Number: ED183243
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Brain Lateralization in Infancy: Implications for Development.
Evidence that hemispheric asymmetry is present at birth comes from several sources: physical structure of the brain, hand preference, and responses to visual and auditory stimuli. In infancy, a hemisphere is activated only when exposed to an appropriate stimulus. Different stimuli seem to activate one hemisphere only, or at least one hemisphere more than the other. This is very important in infancy because the corpus callosum, the neural fibers connecting the hemispheres, are structurally and functionally incomplete until around two years of age. Optimum brain functioning is the result of the development and efficient use of both hemispheres and an interhemispheric communication system. This hemispheric symmetry which may begin in infancy has been credited with optimal cognitive functioning. Although little is known about the relationship between types of stimuli and hemispheric activation, the message at this point would seem to be that infants need to be exposed to as wide a variety of stimuli as possible in order to activate both sides of the brain. (Author/MS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A