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Dr. Zlatislav Stoyanov

Associate Professor
Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Medical University - Varna
Marin Drinov 55

Brief Biography:

I would like to introduce myself as Zlatislav Stoyanov, MD, PhD, DSc, Assoc. Professor of Physiology at Varna Medical University (Varna, Bulgaria), and Assoc. Professor of Physiological Psychology at Varna Free University (Bulgaria). I have more than 20 years experience in teaching physiology for  medical students and more than 10 years experience in teaching physiological psychology for psychology students, and I like my job. In my lectures I cover the whole spectrum of physiology. My scientific interests lie within the fields of neuroscience and psychophysiology, and are focused on brain asymmetry and handedness.

Problems studied: handedness- and sex-related differences in psychophysiological reactivity, in neuro-endocrine control of reproductive functions, and in other aspects of central-autonomic and emotional integration.


Etiology of left-handedness. Evidence in support of Geschwind and Galaburda hypothesis (GGH) has been found. The GGH postulates that high intrauterine levels of testosterone determine left-handedness. We analyzed the digit formula 2D:4D in left- and right-handers (the ratio of the length of the second to the fourth digit 2D:4D negatively correlates with prenatal testosterone) and established 2D:4D measures suggesting that left-handers have been exposed in utero to the influence of higher levels of testosterone. The article ?8 listed below is one of the first publications on the topic. A second interesting finding is the established in our studies specific pattern of seasonal distribution of births of non-right-handers, supporting the GG suggestion that it is possible for seasonal variations in the sex hormone levels, synchronic with the photoperiod, to modulate brain laterality and handedness (article ?10).

Handedness-related peculiarities in autonomic stress response. Heart rate variability and peripheral blood flow dynamics have been studied in right- and left-handers during mental load. The changes in both cardiovascular indicators suggest that handedness-related differences in cardiovascular reactivity exist: in left-handers the sympathetic activation and cardiovascular reactivity are stronger. Effect of sex has been established: the handedness effect was found only in males. The articles ??5,6,9 listed below are some of the few publications on the topic.

Handedness-related peculiarities in reproductive functions and behavior in women. The existence of a link between brain asymmetry, handedness and neuroendocrine control of reproductive functions has been established. It was found that the average age of menarche is lower in left- than in right-handed girls. The finding suggests existence of a specificity in hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis functioning. The article ?1 listed below is the first publications on the topic. In the same context is the finding that the menopause in left-handed women is earlier. The article ?2 listed below is one of the first publications on the topic.

Selected list of publications

1. Nikolova P., Stoyanov Z., Negrev N. (1994) Functional brain asymmetry, handedness and menarcheal age. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 18, 213-215. (Times Cited: 19)

2. Nikolova P., Negrev N., Stoyanov Z., Nikolova R. (1996) Functional brain asymmetry, handedness and age characteristics of climacterium in women. International Journal of Neuroscience, 86, 143-149. (Times Cited: 16)

3. Stoyanov Z., Vartanyan I. A., Chernigovskaya T. V. (1998) Season of birth and laterality. Human Physiology, 24(6), 679-684. (Times Cited: 7)

4. Vartanyan I. A., Svetlogorskaya I. D., Stoyanov Z., Markovich A. M. (2001) Psychoemotional estimations by humans of auditory stimuli, modeling spatial sound source movement. Sensory Systems, 15(4), 335-339. (in Russian) (Times Cited: 3)

5. Vartanyan I. A., Stoyanov Z. (2003) Role of motor asymmetry and sex in lateralization of autonomic effects. Journal of Evolutionary Biochemistry and Physiology, 3(1), 100-109.

6. Stoyanov Z., Boncheva I., Marinov M., Radev R., Pashalieva I. (2008) Personality and peripheral vascular response to mental load in left- and right-handers. Scientific Research Journal of South-west University, 1(1), 131-133.

7. Stoyanov Z., Marinov M.  (2008) Anxiety and stress response: effects of anxiety levels and sex. Scripta Scientifica Medica, 40(2), 125-128.

8. Stoyanov Z., Marinov M., Pashalieva I. (2009) Finger length ratio (2D:4D) in left- and right-handed males. International Journal of Neuroscience, 119(7), 1006-1013. (Times Cited: 18)

9. Stoyanov Z., Nikolova P. (2010) Trait anxiety and peripheral vascular response to mental stress in males: Handedness-related differences. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 77(3): 271.

10. Stoyanov Z., Nikolova P., Pashalieva I. (2011) Season of birth, Geschwind and Galaburda hypothesis, and handedness. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 2011, 16 (5): 607-619. (Times Cited: 1)

11. Stoyanov Z., Pashalieva I., Nikolova P. (2011) Finger length ratio (2D:4D) in left- and right-handed females: evidence supporting Geschwind and Galaburda hypothesis. Journal of Asymmetry, 2011, 5(2), 20-26.

12. Z. Stoyanov, I. Vartanyan and P. Nikolova. Psychophysiological reactivity and personality traits of left- and right-handers during intense mental load. Human Physiology, 2011, 37(6): 679-681.

13. Z. Stoyanov, P. Nikolova. Left-handedness and risk of breast cancer: abundance of conflicting data. Journal of Asymmetry, 2011, 5(4): 15-20.

14. Stoyanov Z., Decheva L., Pashalieva I., Nikolova P. Brain asymmetry, immunity, handedness. Central European Journal of Medicine2012, 7(1): 1-8.

15. Stoyanov Z., Boncheva I., Nikolova P., Ivanova M. Neuroticism and Vascular Response to Mental Load. WebmedCentral PHYSIOLOGY 2013;4(1):WMC003951

16. Stoyanov Z., Nikolova P., Stavrev D. Handedness Proportions in Bulgaria: I. Evidence supporting the Genetic Models of Annett and McManus. Journal of Asymmetry (in press)

17. Stoyanov Z., Nikolova P., Stavrev D., Trendafilova S., Ruseva R. Handedness Proportions in Bulgaria: II. Sex and Age Differences. Journal of Asymmetry (in press)



Academic positions:

Head of Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology


Research interests:

Neuroscience and psychophysiology.

Brain asymmetry and handedness: handedness- and sex-related differences in psychophysiological reactivity, in neuro-endocrine control of reproductive functions, and in other aspects of central-autonomic and emotional integration.


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