May 18, 2021

Handedness and midsagittal corpus callosum morphology: A systematic meta-analytic evaluation.

<p>Following a series of seminal studies in the 1980s, left or mixed hand preference is widely considered to be associated with a larger corpus callosum, influencing the interpretation of findings and various theories related to inter-hemispheric processing, brain lateralisation, and hand preference. Recent reviews of the literature, however, report inconsistencies in the literature and cast doubt on the existence of such an association. The aim of the present study was to systematically evaluate and meta-analytically integrate the available data on the effect of hand preference on corpus-callosum morphology. For this purpose, articles were identified via a search in PubMed and Web of Science databases. Studies reporting findings relating handedness (assessed as hand preference) and corpus-callosum morphology in healthy participants were considered eligible. On the basis of a total of k = 25 identified studies, random-effects meta-analyses were conducted considering four different group comparisons found in the literature. That is, studies comparing participants of (a) predominantly right- (dRH) and left-hand preference (dLH), (b) consistent right (cRH) and non-cRH preference, (c) cRH with mixed-hand preference (MH), and (d) cRH with consistent left-hand hand preference (cLH). For none of these meta-analyses did we find a significant effect of hand preference, and narrow confidence intervals suggest that the existence of substantial population effect sizes can be excluded. For example, considering the comparison of dRH and dLH, (summarizing k = 14 studies incorporating 1910 dRH and 646 dLH participants) the estimated mean effect size was g = 0.016 (95% confidence interval: -0.12 to 0.15). Thus, the common practice of assuming an increase in callosal connectivity based on hand preference is likely invalid.</p>
<p> bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience</p>
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