Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://une.intersearch.com.au/unejspui/handle/1959.11/571
Title: Survival with an Asymmetrical Brain: Advantages and disadvantages of cerebral lateralization
Contributor(s): Vallortigara, G (author); Rogers, Lesley (author)
Publication Date: 2005
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X05000105
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/571
Abstract: Recent evidence in natural and semi-natural settings has revealed a variety of left-right perceptual asymmetries among vertebrates. These include preferential use of the left or right visual hemifield during activities such as searching for food, agonistic responses, or escape from predators in animals as different as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. There are obvious disadvantages in showing such directional asymmetries because relevant stimuli may be located to the animal's left or right at random; there is no a priori association between the meaning of a stimulus (e.g., its being a predator or a food item) and its being located to the animal’s left or right. Moreover, other organisms (e.g., predators) could exploit the predictability of behavior that arises from population level lateral biases. It might be argued that lateralization of function enhances cognitive capacity and efficiency of the brain, thus counteracting the ecological disadvantages of lateral biases in behavior. However, such an increase in brain efficiency could be obtained by each individual being lateralized without any need to align the direction of the asymmetry in the majority of the individuals of the population.Here we argue that the alignment of the direction of behavioral asymmetries at the population level arises as an "evolutionarily stable strategy" under "social" pressures occurring when individually asymmetrical organisms must coordinate their behavior with the behavior of other asymmetrical organisms of the same or different species.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28(4), p. 575-633
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0140-525X
Field of Research (FOR): 060805 Animal Neurobiology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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