New tools to investigate Hemispheric Specialization
Hemispheric specialization (HS) is a remarkable trait of the human brain organization. In about 80% of humans, the left hemisphere is specialized (or dominant) for language regardless of their tongue, gender, or culture. Although much less documented, the right hemisphere is usually considered specialized for spatial functions. Surprisingly, little is known on the relationship between these two features, with several questions remaining unanswered or unexplored.
To investigate these issues, the inventors have elaborated a test comprising 15 exercises documenting verbal and spatial skills, structural features, and neural networks for motor, language and spatial functions. This functional battery is intended for use simultaneously with Magnetic Resonance Imaging to visualize the most active cerebral zones.
Data were collected for 453 individuals and combined with social, demographic and genetic data. This information has been organized as a relational database named BIL&GIN (Brain Imaging of Lateralization). The BIL&GIN raw data acquisition and pre-processing has been described at Organization for Human Brain Mapping 2012 meeting:
BIL&GIN: a database for the study of hemispheric specialization
Laurent Petit, Fabrice Crivello, Emmanuel Mellet, Gael Jobard, Laure Zago, Marc Joliot, Guy Perchey, Bernard Mazoyer, Nathalie Tzourio-Mazoyer
Interestingly, the database contains a large proportion of left-handed individuals, whose hemispheric specialization remained to be understood.
This battery of functional exercises and database are intended for use by the academic research communityt as well as by neurosurgeons.
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