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AIM: To investigate the cytoarchitectural basis of asymmetries in human auditory cortex. Minicolumn spacing and number, and regional cortical volume and surface area were measured in the primary auditory region (Heschl's gyrus, HG) and posterior auditory association region (planum temporale, PT) in 17 neurologically normal adults (10 female, seven male). PT surface area, minicolumn spacing and minicolumn number were greater in the left hemisphere. HG surface area was larger in the left hemisphere. Asymmetries of minicolumn number in primary and association auditory regions correlated with axonal fiber numbers in the subregions of the corpus callosum through which they project. PT minicolumn number was more asymmetrical in men than women but total number was similar in the two sexes. We conclude that asymmetry of the surface area of the PT is a function of minicolumn spacing. Fewer callosal projections between the plana are found when the minicolumn spacing is more asymmetrical.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1041 - 1050


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Auditory Cortex, Auditory Pathways, Auditory Perception, Axons, Brain Mapping, Corpus Callosum, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Language, Male, Middle Aged, Neurons, Sex Characteristics, Verbal Behavior