A combined fMRI and DTI examination of functional language lateralization and arcuate fasciculus structure: Effects of degree versus direction of hand preference.

Date Published:

2010 Jul

Abstract:

The present study examined the relationship between hand preference degree and direction, functional language lateralization in Broca's and Wernicke's areas, and structural measures of the arcuate fasciculus. Results revealed an effect of degree of hand preference on arcuate fasciculus structure, such that consistently-handed individuals, regardless of the direction of hand preference, demonstrated the most asymmetric arcuate fasciculus, with larger left versus right arcuate, as measured by DTI. Functional language lateralization in Wernicke's area, measured via fMRI, was related to arcuate fasciculus volume in consistent-left-handers only, and only in people who were not right hemisphere lateralized for language; given the small sample size for this finding, future investigation is warranted. Results suggest handedness degree may be an important variable to investigate in the context of neuroanatomical asymmetries.