The linguistic basis of left hemisphere specialization

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Science  06 Mar 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5049, pp. 1258-1260
DOI: 10.1126/science.1546327


In humans the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain are functionally specialized with the left hemisphere predominantly mediating language skills. The basis of this lateralization has been proposed to be differential localization of the linguistic, the motoric, or the symbolic properties of language. To distinguish among these possibilities, lateralization of spoken language, signed language, and nonlinguistic gesture have been compared in deaf and hearing individuals. This analysis, plus additional clinical findings, support a linguistic basis of left hemisphere specialization.