Personal relevance and the human right hemisphere

Diana Van Lancker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brain damage can selectively disrupt or distort information and ability across the range of human behaviors. One domain that has not been considered as an independent attribute consists of acquisition and maintenance of personal relevant entities such as "familiar" faces, persons, voices, names, linguistic expressions, handwriting, topography, and so on. In experimental studies of normal mentation, personal relevance is revealed in studies of emotion, arousal, affect, preference and familiarity judgments, and memory. Following focal brain damage, deficits and distortions in the experience of personal relevance, as well as in recognizing formerly personally relevant phenomena, are well known to occur. A review and interpretation of these data lead to a proposal that the right hemisphere has a special role in establishing, maintaining, and processing personally relevant aspects of the individual's world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-92
Number of pages29
JournalBrain and cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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