Reduced auditory M100 asymmetry in schizophrenia and dyslexia: applying a developmental instability approach to assess atypical brain asymmetry. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although atypical structural and functional superior temporal gyrus (STG) asymmetries are frequently observed in patients with schizophrenia and individuals with dyslexia, their significance is unclear. One possibility is that atypical asymmetries reflect a general risk factor that can be seen across multiple neurodevelopmental conditions--a risk factor whose origins are best understood in the context of Developmental Instability (DI) theory. DI measures (minor physical anomalies (MPAs) and fluctuating asymmetries (FAs)) reflect perturbation of the genetic plan. The present study sought to assess whether the presence of peripheral indices of DI predicts anomalous functional auditory cortex asymmetry in schizophrenia patients and dyslexia subjects. The location of the auditory M100 response was used as a measure of functional STG asymmetry, as it has been reported that in controls (but not in subjects with schizophrenia or dyslexia) the M100 source location in the right hemisphere is shifted anterior to that seen for the left hemisphere. Whole-brain auditory evoked magnetic field data were successfully recorded from 14 male schizophrenia patients, 21 male subjects with dyslexia, and 16 normal male control subjects. MPA and FA measures were also obtained. Replicating previous studies, both schizophrenia and dyslexia groups showed less M100 asymmetry than did controls. Schizophrenia and dyslexia subjects also had higher MPA scores than normal controls. Although neither total MPA nor FA measures predicted M100 asymmetry, analyses on individual MPA items revealed a relationship between high palate and M100 asymmetry. Findings suggest that M100 positional asymmetry is not a diagnostically specific feature in several neurodevelopmental conditions. Continued research examining DI and brain asymmetry relationships is warranted.

publication date

  • 2006