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Brain Lang. 1997 Nov 15;60(2):255-322.

The relation of planum temporale asymmetry and morphology of the corpus callosum to handedness, gender, and dyslexia: a review of the evidence.

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Department of Psychology, University of Wales, Swansea, Singleton Park, Swansea, United Kingdom.


Asymmetry of the planum temporale in relation to handedness, gender, and dyslexia is reviewed. The frequency of rightward asymmetry is rather higher than are estimates of the proportion of right hemisphere speech representation in the general population. Conversely, the frequency of leftward asymmetry is lower than the proportion of the population with left hemisphere speech. Neuro-anatomic asymmetry may relate more to handedness than to language lateralization. There are suggestions that neuroanatomic asymmetry is reduced in females compared to males but the data are inconclusive. Reports concerning handedness and gender differences in callosal structure are conflicting but, as with planum asymmetry, any effect of handedness is as likely to relate to degree as to direction of handedness. It has been reported that the plana are more often symmetrical in size or larger on the right side among dyslexics than controls but this has not always been found. However, greater frequency of atypical (a)symmetry of the planum in dyslexia would be consistent with the absence of a factor which, when present, biases the distribution of planum asymmetry toward the left (and handedness towards the right) as hypothesized by Annett (1985). Studies of the size of the corpus callosum in dyslexia have produced conflicting findings.

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