Hemispheric lateralisation and immune function: A systematic review of human research

Rachel C. Sumner, Andrew Parton, Alexander V. Nowicky, Uday Kishore, Yori Gidron

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Past studies examined relationships between hemispheric lateralisation (HL) and immune system functioning. However, there has been no up-dated systematic review of this research area. This article reviews relevant published studies, evaluates study quality and effect sizes. Eleven studies were selected: three revealing a relationship between weaker left hemisphere function and poorer immune function, three describing a relationship between weaker right hemisphere function and stronger immune functioning, and five describing both relationships. Mean effect-size of the studies was r=0.536 (range 0.280-0.866). Collectively, studies point at left-HL and stronger immunity relationships. Limitations, mechanisms and clinical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain to immune communication
  • Diseases
  • Hemispheric lateralisation
  • Humans
  • Immune function
  • Immunomodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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