Emotion lateralisation: Developments throughout the lifespan.

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Abstract

There is a great amount of research on hemispheric lateralisation for processing emotions and on the recognition of emotions across the lifespan. However, few researchers have explored the links between these two measures. This paper highlights how trends in these two research areas inform our understanding of how lateralisation for emotion processing may influence emotion recognition performance throughout the lifespan, including if the development of emotion lateralisation is a response to our environmental experiences of learning (experience dependent) or a result of having specific experiences at a particular time (experience expectant). The development of emotion lateralisation across the lifespan (infancy through to late adulthood) is explored with reference to past research and through the integration of the novel research offered within this special issue of Laterality. We also explore what we can learn from atypical populations. We propose that researchers need to focus on three key avenues of future research (longitudinal research, investigating the role of hormones, and research that explores the evolution of laterality) all which will provide greater insight into the development of laterality and how this may be associated with emotion processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-411
JournalLaterality
Volume17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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