Selected Gray Matter Volumes and Gender but Not Basal Ganglia nor Cerebellum Gyri Discriminate Left Versus Right Cerebral Hemispheres: Multivariate Analyses in human Brains at 3T

Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2015 Jul;298(7):1336-46. doi: 10.1002/ar.23165. Epub 2015 May 6.


Interest in the lateralization of the human brain is evident through a multidisciplinary number of scientific studies. Understanding volumetric brain asymmetries allows the distinction between normal development stages and behavior, as well as brain diseases. We aimed to evaluate volumetric asymmetries in order to select the best gyri able to classify right- versus left cerebral hemispheres. A cross-sectional study performed in 47 right-handed young-adults healthy volunteers. SPM-based software performed brain segmentation, automatic labeling and volumetric analyses for 54 regions involving the cerebral lobes, basal ganglia and cerebellum from each cerebral hemisphere. Multivariate discriminant analysis (DA) allowed the assembling of a predictive model. DA revealed one discriminant function that significantly differentiated left vs. right cerebral hemispheres: Wilks' λ = 0.008, χ(2) (9) = 238.837, P < 0.001. The model explained 99.20% of the variation in the grouping variable and depicted an overall predictive accuracy of 98.8%. With the influence of gender; the selected gyri able to discriminate between hemispheres were middle orbital frontal gyrus (g.), angular g., supramarginal g., middle cingulum g., inferior orbital frontal g., calcarine g., inferior parietal lobule and the pars triangularis inferior frontal g. Specific brain gyri are able to accurately classify left vs. right cerebral hemispheres by using a multivariate approach; the selected regions correspond to key brain areas involved in attention, internal thought, vision and language; our findings favored the concept that lateralization has been evolutionary favored by mental processes increasing cognitive efficiency and brain capacity.

Keywords: brain mapping; cerebral cortex; discriminant analysis; magnetic resonance imaging; neuroimaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Ganglia / anatomy & histology*
  • Cerebellum / anatomy & histology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology*
  • Gray Matter / anatomy & histology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Organ Size / physiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult