lat·​er·​al·​i·​za·​tion ˌla-tə-rə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce lateralization (audio)
: localization of function or activity on one side of the body in preference to the other
lateralize transitive verb

Examples of lateralization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Your coworkers can thank your brain’s remarkable lateralization for that. Sharon Moalem, Discover Magazine, 15 Apr. 2014 This network covered various frontal, higher-order parietal and subcortical regions, mainly precuneus, angular gyrus, cingulate gyrus and frontal pole with right hemispheric lateralization bias. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 13 Feb. 2018 The reason usually given for the right-handers-only policy is that non-right-handed people are more likely to have atypical brain lateralization of language. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 17 Aug. 2019 Development of lateralization of the magnetic compass in a migratory bird. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 28 Aug. 2012 In horses and cattle, hair whorls have been shown to act as a structural marker of reactivity and behavioral lateralization. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 6 June 2012 David Stark of New York-Presbyterian Hospital recently found additional clues about lateralization in his studies of 112 different regions in the brains of volunteers. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 19 Aug. 2014 Most researchers believe that lateralization explains how handedness arises, including our consistent 9-1 right-handedness ratio. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 31 May 2018 One of the most popular explanations for lateralization, which is the term given to this phenomenon, is that each side of our brain has evolved for functional specialization. Sharon Moalem, Discover Magazine, 15 Apr. 2014

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lateralization.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1820, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lateralization was in 1820

Dictionary Entries Near lateralization

Cite this Entry

“Lateralization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


variants also British lateralisation
: localization of function or activity (as of verbal processes in the brain) on one side of the body in preference to the other
lateralize transitive verb
also British lateralise
lateralized also British lateralised; lateralizing also British lateralising
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