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Human subcortical brain asymmetries in 15,847 people worldwide reveal effects of age and sex

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  • Tulio Guadalupe
  • Samuel R Mathias
  • Theo G M vanErp
  • Christopher D Whelan
  • Marcel P Zwiers
  • Yoshinari Abe
  • Lucija Abramovic
  • Ingrid Agartz
  • Ole A Andreassen
  • Alejandro Arias-Vásquez
  • Nicola J Armstrong
  • Volker Arolt
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  • Arun L W Bokde
  • Premika S W Boedhoe
  • Anushree Bose
  • Silvia Brem
  • Henry Brodaty
  • Uli Bromberg
  • Samantha Brooks
  • Christian Büchel
  • Jan Buitelaar
  • Vince D Calhoun
  • Dara M Cannon
  • Anna Cattrell
  • Yuqi Cheng
  • Patricia J Conrod
  • Annette Conzelmann
  • Aiden Corvin
  • Benedicto Crespo-Facorro
  • Fabrice Crivello
  • Udo Dannlowski
  • Greig I de Zubicaray
  • Sonja M C de Zwarte
  • Sylvane Desrivières
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  • Gary Donohoe
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  • Herta Flor
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  • Andrea Gonzalez Suarez
  • Penny Gowland
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  • Andreas Heinz
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  • Pieter J Hoekstra
  • Martine Hoogman
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  • Hilleke E Hulshoff Pol
  • Chaim Huyser
  • Bernd Ittermann
  • Neda Jahanshad
  • Erik G Jönsson
  • Sarah Jurk
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  • Bernd Kraemer
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  • Jun Soo Kwon
  • Herve Lemaitre
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  • Christine Lochner
  • Andre F Marquand
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  • Ignacio Martínez-Zalacaín
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  • Karen Mather
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  • Tomohiro Nakao
  • Janardhanan C Narayanaswaamy
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  • Marie-Laure Paillère Martinot
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  • Miguel E Renteria
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  • Perminder Sachdev
  • Pascual Sánchez-Juan
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  • Gunter Schumann
  • Elena Shumskaya
  • Michael N Smolka
  • Jair C Soares
  • Carles Soriano-Mas
  • Dan J Stein
  • Lachlan T Strike
  • Roberto Toro
  • Jessica A Turner
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  • Anne Uhlmann
  • Odile A van den Heuvel
  • Dennis van der Meer
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  • Ganesan Venkatasubramanian
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  • Henrik Walter
  • Esther Walton
  • Zhen Wang
  • Wei Wen
  • Lars T Westlye
  • Robert Whelan
  • Katharina Wittfeld
  • Thomas Wolfers
  • Margaret J Wright
  • Jian Xu
  • Xiufeng Xu
  • Je-Yeon Yun
  • JingJing Zhao
  • Barbara Franke
  • Paul M Thompson
  • David C Glahn
  • Bernard Mazoyer
  • Simon E Fisher
  • Clyde Francks

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    Rights statement: (c) The Author(s) 2016. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com

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Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain imaging and behavior
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2016

Abstract

The two hemispheres of the human brain differ functionally and structurally. Despite over a century of research, the extent to which brain asymmetry is influenced by sex, handedness, age, and genetic factors is still controversial. Here we present the largest ever analysis of subcortical brain asymmetries, in a harmonized multi-site study using meta-analysis methods. Volumetric asymmetry of seven subcortical structures was assessed in 15,847 MRI scans from 52 datasets worldwide. There were sex differences in the asymmetry of the globus pallidus and putamen. Heritability estimates, derived from 1170 subjects belonging to 71 extended pedigrees, revealed that additive genetic factors influenced the asymmetry of these two structures and that of the hippocampus and thalamus. Handedness had no detectable effect on subcortical asymmetries, even in this unprecedented sample size, but the asymmetry of the putamen varied with age. Genetic drivers of asymmetry in the hippocampus, thalamus and basal ganglia may affect variability in human cognition, including susceptibility to psychiatric disorders.

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