Atypical language network lateralization is reflected throughout the macroscale functional organization of cortex

Loïc Labache, Tian Ge, B.T. Thomas Yeo, Avram J. Holmes
. 2022-12-15; :
DOI: 10.1101/2022.12.14.520417

Hemispheric specialization is a fundamental feature of human brain organization. However, it is not yet clear to what extent the lateralization of specific cognitive processes may be evident throughout the broad functional architecture of cortex. While the majority of people exhibit left-hemispheric language dominance, a substantial minority of the population shows reverse lateralization. Using twin and family data from the Human Connectome Project, we provide evidence that atypical language dominance is associated with global shifts in cortical organization. Individuals with atypical language organization exhibited corresponding hemispheric differences in the macroscale functional gradients that situate discrete large-scale networks along a continuous spectrum, extending from unimodal through association territories. Analyses revealed that both language lateralization and gradient asymmetries are, in part, driven by genetic factors. These findings pave the way for a deeper understanding of the origins and relationships linking population-level variability in hemispheric specialization and global properties of cortical organization.

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