Title
When right differs from left : human limb directional asymmetry emerges during very early development
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Publication type
article
Publication
Hove ,
Subject
Psychology
Source (journal)
Laterality : asymmetries of body, brain and cognition. - Hove
Volume/pages
19(2014) :5 , p. 591-601
ISSN
1357-650X
ISI
000337949500007
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The often observed directional asymmetry (DA) in human limb bones may have a genetic/developmental basis and/or could emerge from different mechanical loadings across sides due to handedness. Because behavioural lateralization in itself has a genetic basis, it has been suggested that DA in limbs could develop prenatally as a pre-adaptation to adult life. However, the presence of consistent differences in the size of left and right limb bones in early development is understudied. We study asymmetry in limb bones during early development (10-20 weeks of gestation) in a sample of 178 aborted foetuses. Statistically significant DA was found in several upper and lower limb bones, where the right-hand side was consistently larger than the left. We argue that this pattern is probably the consequence of developmental processes related to internal asymmetric positioning of organs.
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