It is unclear whether there is hemispheric specialization for prosodic perception and, if so, what the nature of this hemispheric asymmetry is. Using the lesion-approach, many studies have attempted to test whether there is hemispheric specialization for emotional and linguistic prosodic perception by examining the impact of left vs. right hemispheric damage on prosodic perception task performance. However, so far no consensus has been reached. In an attempt to find a consistent pattern of lateralization for prosodic perception, a meta-analysis was performed on 38 lesion studies (including 450 left hemisphere damaged patients, 534 right hemisphere damaged patients and 491 controls) of prosodic perception. It was found that both left and right hemispheric damage compromise emotional and linguistic prosodic perception task performance. Furthermore, right hemispheric damage degraded emotional prosodic perception more than left hemispheric damage (trimmed g=-0.37, 95% CI [-0.66; -0.09], N=620 patients). It is concluded that prosodic perception is under bihemispheric control with relative specialization of the right hemisphere for emotional prosodic perception.

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Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Witteman, J., van IJzendoorn, R., van de Velde, D., van Heuven, V., & Schiller, N. (2011). The nature of hemispheric specialization for linguistic and emotional prosodic perception: A meta-analysis of the lesion literature. Neuropsychologia, 49(13), 3722–3738. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.09.028