Molecular approaches to brain asymmetry and handedness

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2006 Aug;7(8):655-62. doi: 10.1038/nrn1930.


In the human brain, distinct functions tend to be localized in the left or right hemispheres, with language ability usually localized predominantly in the left and spatial recognition in the right. Furthermore, humans are perhaps the only mammals who have preferential handedness, with more than 90% of the population more skillful at using the right hand, which is controlled by the left hemisphere. How is a distinct function consistently localized in one side of the human brain? Because of the convergence of molecular and neurological analysis, we are beginning to consider the puzzle of brain asymmetry and handedness at a molecular level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / genetics
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality / genetics
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Humans