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Cereb Cortex. 2006 Mar;16(3):346-54. Epub 2005 May 18.

Parasagittal asymmetries of the corpus callosum.

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Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, Brain Mapping Division, UCLA School of Medicine, 710 Westwood Plaza, 4238 Reed, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1769, USA.


Significant relationships have been reported between midsagittal areas of the corpus callosum and the degree of interhemispheric transfer, functional lateralization and structural brain asymmetries. No study, however, has examined whether parasagittal callosal asymmetries (i.e. those close to the midline of the brain), which may be of specific functional consequence, are present in the human brain. Thus, we applied magnetic resonance imaging and novel computational surface-based methods to encode hemispheric differences in callosal thickness at a very high resolution. Discrete callosal areas were also compared between the hemispheres. Furthermore, acknowledging the frequently reported sex differences in callosal morphology, parasagittal callosal asymmetries were examined within each gender. Results showed significant rightward asymmetries of callosal thickness predominantly in the anterior body and anterior third of the callosum, suggesting a more diffuse functional organization of callosal projections in the right hemisphere. Asymmetries were increased in men, supporting the assumption of a sexually dimorphic organization of male and female brains that involves hemispheric relations and is reflected in the organization and distribution of callosal fibers.

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