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Different Neural Treatments for Left-Handed People

Research into brain hemisphere development could alter a common mental health treatment

A common treatment for depression called neural therapy might be less effective for left-handed people and people who do not strongly favor one hand, according to new research.

Since the 1970s, doctors have believed that emotions like enthusiasm and pride are housed in the left brain exclusively. That’s why neural therapy treatments, which use a mild and painless electrical current to stimulate one hemisphere of the brain, have historically focused on the left brain. However, the new study shows that this seems to be the case for right-handed people only, and that these emotions are actually focused in the right hemisphere for left-handed people.

“The big theoretical shift is, we’re saying emotion in the brain isn’t its own system,” said Dr. Daniel Casasanto, associate professor of human development and psychology at Cornell University. “Emotion in the cerebral cortex is built upon neural systems for motor action.”

Read more in the Cornell Chronicle.