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Structural and functional asymmetry of the neonatal cerebral cortex

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Features of brain asymmetry have been implicated in a broad range of cognitive processes; however, their origins are still poorly understood. Here we investigated cortical asymmetries in 442 healthy term-born neonates using structural and functional magnetic resonance images from the Developing Human Connectome Project. Our results demonstrate that the neonatal cortex is markedly asymmetric in both structure and function. Cortical asymmetries observed in the term cohort were contextualized in two ways: by comparing them against cortical asymmetries observed in 103 preterm neonates scanned at term-equivalent age, and by comparing structural asymmetries against those observed in 1,110 healthy young adults from the Human Connectome Project. While associations with preterm birth and biological sex were minimal, significant differences exist between birth and adulthood.


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Nat Hum Behav


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Office of Human Genetics