Psychological correlates of handedness and corpus callosum asymmetry in autism: the left hemisphere dysfunction theory revisited.


Rightward cerebral lateralization has been suggested to be involved in the neuropathology of autism spectrum conditions. We investigated functional and neuroanatomical asymmetry, in terms of handedness and corpus callosum measurements in male adolescents with autism, their unaffected siblings and controls, and their associations with executive dysfunction and symptom severity. Adolescents with autism did not differ from controls in functional asymmetry, but neuroanatomically showed the expected pattern of stronger rightward lateralization in the posterior and anterior midbody based on their hand-preference. Measures of symptom severity were related to rightward asymmetry in three subregions (splenium, posterior midbody and rostral body). We found the opposite pattern for the isthmus and rostrum with better cognitive and less severe clinical scores associated with rightward lateralization. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York.