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January 1977

Cerebral Dominance

Author Affiliations

Dept of Physiology Med Coll of Georgia Augusta, GA 30902

Arch Neurol. 1977;34(1):60. doi:10.1001/archneur.1977.00500130080024

To the Editor.—  Albert et al, in "Cerebral Dominance for Consciousness" (Arch Neurol 33:453, 1976), suggest that their "findings lend support to the argument that hemispheric asymmetry may exist for consciousness as well as for other neurobehavioral phenomena." It appears from their brief report that focal unilateral lesions of the left hemisphere are more likely to produce a "reduced consciousness," providing consciousness is "defined" as a phenomenon of variable intensity, specifiable by grading (from low to high) arousability, brain stem reflexes, and spontaneous and directed behavior. This seems quite reasonable. Nevertheless, their Table 3 shows that the level of consciousness for which patients showed the greatest difference and which, presumably, contributed most heavily to their statistical argument was "full consciousness" wherein patients were fully awake, alert, and attentive. In the context of known aspects of hemispheric function, it is possible that this weighting is of considerable importance. Thus, Sperry

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