Relationships Between Sulcal Asymmetries and Corpus Callosum Size: Gender and Handedness Effects

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Magnetic resonance imaging was used to establish the presence and nature of relationships between sulcal asymmetries and mid-sagittal callosal size in neurologically intact subjects, and to determine the influences of sex and handedness. Against a background of long-standing disputes, effects of gender and handedness on callosal size, shape, and variability were additionally examined. Both positive and negative correlations between sulcal asymmetry and callosal size were observed, with effects influenced by sex and handedness. The direction of relationships, however, were dependent on the regional asymmetry measured and on whether real or absolute values were used to quantify sulcal asymmetries. Callosal measurements showed no significant effects of sex or handedness, although subtle differences in callosal shape were observed in anterior and posterior regions between males and females and surface variability was increased in males. Individual variations in callosal size appear to outrange any detectable divergences in size between groups. Relationships between sulcal asymmetries and callosal size, however, are influenced by both sex and handedness. Whether magnitudes of asymmetry are related to increases or decreases in callosal size appears dependent on the chosen indicators of asymmetry. It is an oversimplification, therefore, to assume a single relationship exists between cerebral asymmetries and callosal connections.

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