On the cutting edge of neuropsychology and cognitive science, this book investigates lateral asymmetries in the human brain and contrasts these with asymmetries in primates as well as invertebrates, primitive vertebrates, birds, and other mammals. Nine illustrated chapters present asymmetries in lower life forms, progress to hominoids and hominids, and discuss how such asymmetries are responsible for the development of language, upright posture, tool use, intellect, and self-awareness in humans. A summary and conclusions section at the end of each chapter provide both a general survey and a balanced judgment of any controversial aspects previously discussed. Regarded as experts in their field, the authors have received much acclaim for their previous books.
Key Features - Shows that lateralization of function occurs systematically throughout the animal kingdom and is not unique to humans - Explains why lateralization of function depends upon a complex interplay of generic, structural, and environmental factors and is also subject to hormonal and maturational determination - Demonstrates the close commonality between human and nonhuman species with respect to such hitherto uniquely human attributes as consciousness, tool use, and language - Provides an account of human evolution in the context of language, tool use, art, and intellect at the neurological, behavioral, and archaeological levels - a new synthesis