Get access

Right, left, and center: How does cerebral asymmetry mix with callosal connectivity?



Background: Prior research has shown that cerebral asymmetry is associated with differences in corpus callosum connectivity. Such associations were detected in histological and anatomical studies investigating callosal fiber size and density, in neuroimaging investigations based on structural and diffusion tensor imaging, as well as in neuropsychological experiments. However, little is known about typical associations between these factors, and even less about the relative influences of magnitude and direction of cerebral asymmetries. Here, we investigated relationships between callosal connectivity and cerebral asymmetry using precise measures of callosal thickness and selected cerebral structures. We considered both the direction and magnitude of the asymmetries. Methods: Associations between cerebral asymmetry and callosal thickness were investigated in 348 cognitively healthy older individuals. Results: The magnitude and direction of cerebral lateralization were significant independent predictors of callosal thickness. However, associations were small. Leftward asymmetry and increased magnitude of asymmetry were generally associated with increased callosal thickness, mostly in the callosal midbody and isthmus. Conclusions: When a large sample of normal individuals is considered, cerebral asymmetries are only subtly associated with callosal thickness. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.