Interhemispheric Asymmetries of the Modular Structure in Human Temporal Cortex

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Science  15 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5486, pp. 1946-1949
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5486.1946

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Language-relevant processing of auditory signals is lateralized and involves the posterior part of Brodmann area 22. We found that the functional lateralization in this area was accompanied by interhemispheric differences in the organization of the intrinsic microcircuitry. Neuronal tract tracing revealed a modular network of long-range intrinsic connections linking regularly spaced clusters of neurons. Although the cluster diameter was similar in both hemispheres, their spacing was about 20 percent larger in the left hemisphere. Assuming similar relations between functional and anatomical architecture as in visual cortex, the present data suggest that more functionally distinct columnar systems are included per surface unit in the left than in the right area 22.

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