Stress Affects Both Sides of the Brain

Background: Two main scientific findings inform the bihemispheric autonomic model (BHAM) presented. The first relates to division of labor between the left and right sides of the brain for management of the autonomic nervous system, the system that directs our level of arousal or mode of energy usage. The right side of the brain is the main manager of the “fight or flight” system, or sympathetic response, that releases energy stores, increases heart rate and blood pressure, produces sweating, steers blood away from the digestive system toward the large muscle groups, and primes our cognitive systems to lay down memories related to the context that is associated with this response.

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