The effects of left and right monocular viewing on hemispheric activation

Academic Article


  • © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Background/Objectives: Prior research has revealed that whereas activation of the left hemisphere primarily increases the activity of the parasympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system, right-hemisphere activation increases the activity of the sympathetic division. In addition, each hemisphere primarily receives retinocollicular projections from the contralateral eye. A prior study reported that pupillary dilation was greater with left- than with right-eye monocular viewing. The goal of this study was to test the alternative hypotheses that this asymmetric pupil dilation with left-eye viewing was induced by activation of the right-hemispheric-mediated sympathetic activity, versus a reduction of left-hemisphere-mediated parasympathetic activity. Thus, this study was designed to learn whether there are changes in hemispheric activation, as measured by alteration of spontaneous alpha activity, during right versus left monocular viewing. Method: High-density electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded from healthy participants viewing a crosshair with their right, left, or both eyes. Results: There was a significantly less alpha power over the right hemisphere’s parietal-occipital area with left and binocular viewing than with right-eye monocular viewing. Conclusions: The greater relative reduction of right-hemisphere alpha activity during left than during right monocular viewing provides further evidence that left-eye viewing induces greater increase in right-hemisphere activation than does right-eye viewing.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wang C; Burtis DB; Ding M; Mo J; Williamson JB; Heilman KM
  • Start Page

  • 198
  • End Page

  • 204
  • Volume

  • 40
  • Issue

  • 2