Dichotic Listening and Language: Overview

Research Area: Research Year: 2015
Type of Publication: Book chapter
Authors: Hugdahl, Kenneth
In this article, I provide a selective review of the history of dichotic listening and its use as an application in neuropsychology, both with regard to research and clinical work. The review traces the concept of presenting simple speech sounds, such as syllables or numbers dichotically, from its original use by Broadbent in studies of attention in the early 1950s, to the pioneering work by Kimura a decade later in her studies of hemispheric asymmetry, and to the present-day use of the dichotic listening procedure in research and clinical practice. The article reviews studies on both healthy individuals and psychiatric and neurological populations. In addition to behavioral studies, dichotic listening has also been used in functional neuroimaging studies to reveal the underlying neuronal circuitry of language at the brain systems level.