Skip to main content
eScholarship
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mapping cortical brain asymmetry in 17,141 healthy individuals worldwide via the ENIGMA consortium

  • Author(s): Kong, XZ
  • Mathias, SR
  • Guadalupe, T
  • Abé, C
  • Agartz, I
  • Akudjedu, TN
  • Aleman, A
  • Alhusaini, S
  • Allen, NB
  • Ames, D
  • Andreassen, OA
  • Vasquez, AA
  • Armstrong, NJ
  • Bergo, F
  • Bastin, ME
  • Batalla, A
  • Bauer, J
  • Baune, BT
  • Baur-Streubel, R
  • Biederman, J
  • Blaine, SK
  • Boedhoe, P
  • Bøen, E
  • Bose, A
  • Bralten, J
  • Brandeis, D
  • Brem, S
  • Brodaty, H
  • Yüksel, D
  • Brooks, SJ
  • Buitelaar, J
  • Bürger, C
  • Bülow, R
  • Calhoun, V
  • Calvo, A
  • Canales-Rodríguez, EJ
  • Canive, JM
  • Cannon, DM
  • Caparelli, EC
  • Castellanos, FX
  • Cavalleri, GL
  • Cendes, F
  • Chaim-Avancini, TM
  • Chantiluke, K
  • Chen, QL
  • Chen, X
  • Cheng, Y
  • Christakou, A
  • Clark, VP
  • Coghill, D
  • Connolly, CG
  • Conzelmann, A
  • Córdova-Palomera, A
  • Cousijn, J
  • Crow, T
  • Cubillo, A
  • Dale, A
  • Dannlowski, U
  • De Bruttopilo, SA
  • De Zeeuw, P
  • Deary, IJ
  • Delanty, N
  • Demeter, DV
  • Di Martino, A
  • Dickie, EW
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2018 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Hemispheric asymmetry is a cardinal feature of human brain organization. Altered brain asymmetry has also been linked to some cognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, the ENIGMA (Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Consortium presents the largest-ever analysis of cerebral cortical asymmetry and its variability across individuals. Cortical thickness and surface area were assessed in MRI scans of 17,141 healthy individuals from 99 datasets worldwide. Results revealed widespread asymmetries at both hemispheric and regional levels, with a generally thicker cortex but smaller surface area in the left hemisphere relative to the right. Regionally, asymmetries of cortical thickness and/or surface area were found in the inferior frontal gyrus, transverse temporal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, and entorhinal cortex. These regions are involved in lateralized functions, including language and visuospatial processing. In addition to population-level asymmetries, variability in brain asymmetry was related to sex, age, and intracranial volume. Interestingly, we did not find significant associations between asymmetries and handedness. Finally, with two independent pedigree datasets (n = 1,443 and 1,113, respectively), we found several asymmetries showing significant, replicable heritability. The structural asymmetries identified and their variabilities and heritability provide a reference resource for future studies on the genetic basis of brain asymmetry and altered laterality in cognitive, neurological, and psychiatric disorders.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC Academic Senate's Open Access Policy. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
Current View