References to dopamine and the left hemisphere in 'the Master and His Emissary'

  • References to dopamine and the left hemisphere in 'the Master and His Emissary'

    Posted by Matt Dorsey on October 16, 2022 at 11:20 pm

    In ‘the Master and His Emissary’, Dr. McGilchrist mentions that dopamine tends to preferentially activate the left hemisphere on several occasions. Here are all the passages I could find:


    Neurochemically the hemispheres differ in their sensitivity to hormones (for example, the right hemisphere is more sensitive to testosterone), and to pharmacological agents; and they depend on preponderantly different neurotransmitters (the left hemisphere is more reliant on dopamine and the right hemisphere on noradrenaline).”

    -Page 33


    The one exception to the right hemisphere superiority for the expression of emotion is anger. Anger is robustly connected with left frontal activation. Aggression is motivating and dopamine plays a crucial role in the rewards it offers.”

    -Page 61


    And in keeping with the left-hemisphere hypothesis, more hypnotisable subjects display higher levels of dopaminergic activity (dopamine transmission is more extensive in the left hemisphere).”

    -Page 236


    “…drugs that help stabilise schizophrenia act to reduce dopaminergic activity, a form of neurotransmission on which the left hemisphere is dependent to a greater extent than the right.”

    -Page 392


    “It is particularly relevant that the current version of the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia, the most widely espoused theory of the genesis of schizophrenia, proposes an interaction between a posterior dopamine hyperactivity and a frontal dopamine hypoactivity, which, on the basis that the frontal lobe inhibits posterior activity in the same hemisphere, compounds the effect of a preponderant, though aberrant, left hemisphere in schizophrenia…”

    -Page 509 (Chapter 12, footnote 13)

    Anthony Farnsworth replied 1 year, 7 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Anthony Farnsworth

    November 12, 2022 at 9:27 am

    Hi there, what is the importance of dopamines relationship to the left hemisphere?

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