Axonal Conduction Time and Human Cerebral Laterality-A Psychobiological Theory; takes a detailed look at the hypothesis that the psychological difference between the left and right hemispheres of the brain has a definite neurological basis. There is a multitude of literature concerning the difference between the two hemispheres of the brain but none which suggest a biological explanation. This book plugs that gap by making a connection between the psychological and the biological. Robert Miller has surveyed a wealth of material in researching his hypothesis, making it an essential review of the literature in this area which will be indispensable to workers in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, neurolinguistics, neuroanatomy, and neurocytology. This book takes a new and up-to-date look at the prominent theory that the left hemisphere is specialised for representing patterns extended in time whereas the right hemisphere represents simultaneous or 'spatial' patterns. What makes it unique in the field is that it looks at this theory from a neurobiological basis. It suggests that the difference resides in the range of conduction times in the axons connecting different regions of the cortex in each hemisphere. This hypothesis is discussed with respect to theoretical models of brain dynamics, and both gross and microscopic structure of the hemispheres. It deals with the psychological implications of the hypothesis for higher functions of the human cerebrum and outlines testable implications wherever Possible.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The Physical Nature of Linguistic Signals 3. The Representation of Temporal Structure in the Dynamics of Neural Networks 4. Biological Predictions from the Conduction Delay Hypothesis of Cerebral Lateralization 5. Perceptual Aspects of Laterilization: Theory and Predictions 6. Empirical Evidence on the Difference Between Left and Right Hemispheres in Perceptual Processes 7. Lateralization in the Contents of Memory 8. Motor Aspects of Lateralization: Theory and Predictions 9. Motor Aspects of Lateralization: Evidence for Evaluation of the Hypotheses of Chapter 8 10. Laterality Effects for Higher Cognitive Processes: Short Term Memory, Attention and Alertness, and Emotion 11. Correlations Between Different Aspects of Lateralization, and with Gender 12. Summary, Synopsis of Predictions, and Concluding Remarks
Robert Miller studied physiology and neuroscience at Oxford and went on to do post-graduate studies at Glasgow University. He has been a lecturer at the University of Otago, New Zealand since 1976 and was made Senior Lecturer in 1980. In 1991 he was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, for his research on schizophrenia. Early; in his career he conducted research in experimental neuroscience but he has since moved away; from direct involvement, taking a library-based, theoretical approach to the forebrain.