In Your Right Mind: Right Hemisphere Contributions to Language Processing and Production Academic Article uri icon


  • The verbal/nonverbal account of left and right hemisphere functionality is the prevailing dichotomy describing the cerebral lateralization of function. Yet the fact that the left hemisphere is the superior language processor does not necessarily imply that the right hemisphere is completely lacking linguistic ability. This paper reviews the growing body of research demonstrating that, far from being nonverbal, the right hemisphere has significant language processing strength. From prosodic and paralinguistic aspects of speech production, reception, and interpretation, to prelexical, lexical and postlexical components of visual word recognition; strong involvement of the right hemisphere is implicated. The evidence reviewed challenges the notion that language is solely a function of the "verbal" left hemisphere, indicating that the right cerebral hemisphere makes significant and meaningful contributions to normal language processing as well.

publication date

  • November 28, 2006