Lateralization is Predicted by Reduced Coupling from the Left to Right Prefrontal Cortex during Semantic Decisions on Written Words
Over 90% of people activate the left hemisphere more than the right hemisphere for language processing. Here, we show that the degree to which language is left lateralized is inversely related to the degree to which left frontal regions drive activity in homotopic right frontal regions. Lateralization was assessed in 60 subjects using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation for semantic decisions on verbal (written words) and nonverbal (pictures of objects) stimuli. Regional interactions between left and right ventral and dorsal frontal regions were assessed using dynamic causal modeling (DCM), random-effects Bayesian model selection at the family level, and Bayesian model averaging at the connection level. We found that 1) semantic decisions on words and pictures modulated interhemispheric coupling between the left and right dorsal frontal regions, 2) activation was more left lateralized for words than pictures, and 3) for words only, left lateralization was greater when the coupling from the left to right dorsal frontal cortex was reduced. These results have theoretical implications for understanding how left and right hemispheres communicate with one another during the processing of lateralized functions.
from Cerebral Cortex