ERIC Number: ED196074
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Left and Right Hemisphere Brain Functions and Symbolic vs. Spontaneous Communication Processes.
Recent findings on the communicative functions of the left versus the right hemisphere of the brain may suggest that there is a distinction between the intentional use of symbols for the sending of specific messages or propositions (language, signing, pantomime) and spontaneous expressive behaviors that signal their meaning through a natural relationship with that which is signified. Recent research into the functions of the left and right cerebral hemispheres and the patterns of communicative deficit in patients suffering from brain damage suggests that the hemispheres play different roles in these communicative processes. The left hemisphere is particularly involved in the symbolic communication process, while the right hemisphere plays a special role in spontaneous communication. Damage to the left hemisphere in right handed people is associated with deficits in language expression and comprehension--the aphasias. Nonverbal communication is relatively intact in aphasic patients, however. While it is likely that the two hemispheres are both associated with either spontaneous or symbolic processes, it should be emphasized that the two systems are highly interactive, and serve to modify one another. One cannot be fully understood without the other. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (66th, New York, NY, November 13-16, 1980).