Despite considerable speculation in the research literature regarding the complementarity of functional lateralization of prosodic and linguistic processes in the normal intact brain, few studies have directly addressed this issue. In the present study, behavioral laterality indices of emotional prosodic and traditional linguistic speech functions were obtained for a sample of healthy young adults, using the dichotic listening method. After screening for adequate emotional prosody and linguistic recognition abilities, participants completed the Fused Rhymed Words Test (FRWT; Wexler & Halwes, 1983) and the Dichotic Emotion Recognition Test (DERT; McNeely & Netley, 1998). Examination of the difference in ear asymmetries for these measures within individuals revealed a complementary pattern in 78% of the sample. However, the correlation between laterality quotients for the FRWT and DERT was near zero, supporting Bryden's model of "statistical" complementarity (e.g., Bryden, 1990).

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Brain and Language
Carleton University

McNeely, H.E. (Heather E.), & Parlow, S. (2001). Complementarity of linguistic and prosodic processes in the intact brain. Brain and Language, 79(3), 473–481. doi:10.1006/brln.2001.2502