The analysis of structural brain asymmetry has been a focal point in anthropological theories of human brain evolution and the development of lateralized behaviors. While physiological brain asymmetries have been documented for humans and animals presenting with pathological conditions or under certain activation tasks, published studies on baseline asymmetries in healthy individuals have produced conflicting results. We tested for the presence of cerebral blood flow asymmetries in 7 healthy, sedated baboons using positron emission tomography, a method of in vivo autoradiography. Five of the 7 baboons exhibited hemispheric asymmetries in which left-sided flow was significantly greater than right-sided flow. Furthermore, the degree of asymmetry in 8 of 24 brain regions was found to be significantly correlated with age; older individuals exhibited a higher degree of asymmetry than younger individuals. Cerebral blood flow itself was uncorrelated with age, and differences between males and females were not significant.
- Cerebral blood flow