Table 1 the association between handedness and

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  Table 1.  The association between handedness and hemispheric dominance for  language based on results from the Wada Test (Source: Rasmussen & Milner,  1977) The  Non-Right-Handed Group  consisted of both left-handed and mixed-handed  participants (the term  mixed-handedness  applied to people who use their right  hands for some tasks and their left hands for other tasks). In this group, 70%  experienced problems in language production when their left hemispheres were  anesthetized, 15% experienced problems when their right hemispheres were  anesthetized, and 15% experienced no problems regardless of which hemisphere  was anesthetized. In the last group of people, the language areas are located in  both hemispheres. No one knows for certain the reason or reasons for the shifting of language areas  towards the right hemisphere in some left-handed and mixed-handed people.  One hypothesis is that portions of their left hemispheres typically associated with  language have either been damaged or did not develop normally (Coren, 1993).  According to this hypothesis, the shifting of the language areas to the right  hemisphere is due to a reorganization of the brain. In other words, language  areas must have developed to some extent in the right hemisphere. Some  studies suggest that this can happen in young children who suffer damage to  their left hemispheres, especially in those who have most of their left  hemispheres removed because of neurological illness (Boatman, et al., 1999).  Other studies have demonstrated that, in people with epilepsy caused by damage  to the left hemisphere, the right hemisphere takes over some language functions  (Voets, et al. 2006). A likely explanation for these findings is that, when a  language area in the left cerebral cortex is damaged or removed, the  corresponding area in the right hemisphere reorganizes itself, thereby allowing  people to regain at least some of their ability to use language.
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  • Spring '06
  • Cleveland
  • frontal lobes, mental representations

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