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January 1977

Cerebral Dominance-Reply

Author Affiliations

Boston Univ Med School Boston VA Hospital Dept of Neurology Aphasia Research Center Boston, MA 02130

Arch Neurol. 1977;34(1):60. doi:10.1001/archneur.1977.00500130080025

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In Reply.—  Dr Stoney's comments are interesting, given that he cites so many thoughtful neuroscientists. However, his comments are unrelated to the point of our article.Dr Stoney complains that we have not given "consciousness" the broad general definition it deserves. He is correct. We did not try to. We made specific clinical observations that we described and quantified. We agree that the concept of consciousness is difficult to define and difficult to explain in neurophysiologic terms. It seemed to us that quantitative data on "consciousness" or some of its elements might be useful to an understanding of integrated cerebral function.In addition, we believed that it was unwise to accept without question the notion that the cerebral hemispheres, which are functionally asymmetrical in so many other ways, were necessarily symmetrical with respect to attentional or alerting activity. Our data suggest that the hemispheres may not be functionally symmetrical for these particular

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