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Symmetries in human brain language pathways correlate with verbal recall

Catani, M., Allin, M. P. G., Husain, M., Pugliese, L., Mesulam, M. M., Murray, R. M. and Jones, Derek K. 2007. Symmetries in human brain language pathways correlate with verbal recall. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104 (43) , pp. 17163-17168. 10.1073/pnas.0702116104

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Abstract

Lateralization of language to the left hemisphere is considered a key aspect of human brain organization. We used diffusion tensor MRI to perform in vivo virtual dissection of language pathways to assess the relationship between brain asymmetry and cognitive performance in the normal population. Our findings suggest interhemispheric differences in direct connections between Broca's and Wernicke's territories, with extreme leftward lateralization in more than half of the subjects and bilateral symmetrical distribution in only 17.5% of the subjects. Importantly, individuals with more symmetric patterns of connections are better overall at remembering words using semantic association. Moreover, preliminary analysis suggests females are more likely to have a symmetrical pattern of connections. These findings suggest that the degree of lateralization of perisylvian pathways is heterogeneous in the normal population and, paradoxically, bilateral representation, not extreme lateralization, might ultimately be advantageous for specific cognitive functions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: arcuate fasciculus; brain asymmetry; diffusion tensor imaging; language lateralization; verbal memory
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 0027-8424
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:47
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/26633

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