Hearing emotion from the left
We are more likely to remember emotional words if we hear them with our left ear than our right ear.
This is the finding of research reported today, Monday 2 July, by Dr Teow-Chong Sim, of Sam Houston State University, USA, at the European Congress of Psychology, held at the Barbican Centre, London.
Sixty-two people took part in Dr Sim’s study. They listened to different words with their left and right ears at the same time, and the words were a mixture of emotion (eg depressed) and non-emotion (eg combine) words. After they had heard them, they were instructed to recall them.
The research found that people definitely remembered the emotion words they had heard with their left ear better than those heard with their right ear.
The left ear is controlled by the right side of the brain. Dr Sim said: ‘The findings are consistent with the role of the brain’s right hemisphere in the processing of emotional stimuli’.
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