Left planum temporale surface correlates with functional dominance during story listening

N TzourioBernard Mazoyer


The relationship between anatomical asymmetry of the planum temporale (PT) and functional lateralization for language comprehension was studied in 14 normal volunteers, including five left-handers (LH). PT surfaces and asymmetry were measured in each subject using structural MRI, while functional lateralization was assessed on individual regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) difference images of a PET-H2(15)O activation protocol in which a story listening condition was contrasted with a control state. Significant positive correlations were found between the left PT surface and the amount of NrCBF increase during the story listening in the left superior temporal gyrus as well as with the left-right activation index in the superior temporal and the temporal pole. Functional imaging data were correlated neither with the right PT surface nor with the right-left PT surface asymmetry index. However the latter index was correlated with handedness scores. The present results indicate that the size of the left PT is the relevant anatomical landmark for language dominance, and demonstrate that anatomical asymmetries are part of the functional variability for language.


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