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Levin, F.M. Vuckovich, D.M. (1983). Psychoanalysis and the Two Cerebral Hemispheres. Ann. Psychoanal., 11:171-197.

(1983). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 11:171-197

Psychoanalysis and the Two Cerebral Hemispheres

F. M. Levin, M.D. and D. M. Vuckovich, M.D.


This paper attempts to review recent neurological knowledge of the two cerebral hemispheres and describe the general significance to psychoanalysis of the brain's bicameral structure. The adjective “bicameral” is used throughout this paper to mean the functional specialization and any associated anatomical asymmetries of the system of two cerebral hemispheres. The reader will be able to follow from the context whether the referent is brain structure (anatomy), brain function (physiology or psychodynamics), or both. Detailed delineation of the nature of cortical brain asymmetries will be presented under the heading of “hemispheric stereotypes.” In our opinion, the growing interest in and knowledge of the brain have not yet been adequately explored or significantly enough integrated into psychoanalysis (Lehtonen, 1980).

The history of the modern study of brain asymmetry starts with the unpublished findings of Marc Dax (Gibson, 1962; Springer and Deutsch, 1981), an obscure French general practitioner who reported to his local medical society in 1836 on more than forty patients he saw for aphasia.

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