Fluctuating asymmetry and the human brain. Academic Article uri icon


  • Adaptive development requires the organism to resist genetic and environmental stresses that disrupt the genetic plan for growth, a buffering capacity termed developmental stability. Developmental instability is revealed by fluctuating asymmetry (FA), which has been demonstrated in many species to reflect phenotypic and genetic quality. We report (1) that a measure of developmental instability based on body FA predicts deviation from typical brain asymmetry, (2) that a combined measure of atypical brain asymmetry and body FA correlated negatively with the area of the corpus callosum, especially the portion connecting the left and right planum temporale, and (3) that this combined measure also predicted atypical asymmetry of the size of the somatosensory representation of the two hands, as determined from magnetic source imaging.

publication date

  • January 1, 2002