The right hemisphere and the human stress response.
ABSTRACT Evidence is presented that most components of the human stress response are influenced asymmetrically by the cerebral hemispheres. The right hemisphere is endowed with a unique response system preparing the organism to deal efficiently with external challenges. Therefore, both the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis and the sympathetic-adrenomedullary (SA) axis seem to be under the main control of the right hemisphere.
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ABSTRACT: Our survival and wellness require a balance between optimism and pessimism. Undue pessimism makes life miserable; however, excessive optimism can lead to dangerously risky behaviors. A review and synthesis of the literature on the neurophysiology subserving these two worldviews suggests that optimism and pessimism are differentially associated with the two cerebral hemispheres. High self-esteem, a cheerful attitude that tends to look at the positive aspects of a given situation, as well as an optimistic belief in a bright future are associated with physiological activity in the left-hemisphere (LH). In contrast, a gloomy viewpoint, an inclination to focus on the negative part and exaggerate its significance, low self-esteem as well as a pessimistic view on what the future holds are interlinked with neurophysiological processes in the right-hemisphere (RH). This hemispheric asymmetry in mediating optimistic and pessimistic outlooks is rooted in several biological and functional differences between the two hemispheres. The RH mediation of a watchful and inhibitive mode weaves a sense of insecurity that generates and supports pessimistic thought patterns. Conversely, the LH mediation of an active mode and the positive feedback it receives through its motor dexterity breed a sense of confidence in one's ability to manage life's challenges, and optimism about the future.Experimental neurobiology. 09/2013; 22(3):173-199.
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ABSTRACT: The present study investigates the relation of perceived arousal (continuous self-rating), autonomic nervous system activity (heart rate, heart rate variability) and musical characteristics (sound intensity, musical rhythm) upon listening to a complex musical piece. Twenty amateur musicians listened to two performances of Chopin's "Tristesse" with different rhythmic shapes. Besides conventional statistical methods for analyzing psychophysiological reactions (heart rate, respiration rate) and musical variables, semblance analysis was used. Perceived arousal correlated strongly with sound intensity; heart rate showed only a partial response to changes in sound intensity. Larger changes in heart rate were caused by the version with more rhythmic tension. The low-/high-frequency ratio of heart rate variability increased-whereas the high frequency component decreased-during music listening. We conclude that autonomic nervous system activity can be modulated not only by sound intensity but also by the interpreter's use of rhythmic tension. Semblance analysis enables us to track the subtle correlations between musical and physiological variables.Psychophysiology 06/2013; · 3.29 Impact Factor
- Doklady Biological Sciences 02/2012; 442:7-10.