Luca Pugliese1,2, Flavio Dell'Acqua1,2, Michel Thiebaut de Schotten2, Sanja Budisavljevic2, Steve Williams3, Declan Murphy1, Marco Catani1,2
1Psychological Medicine, Section of Brain Maturation, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK; 2Natbrainlab, section of Brain Maturation, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK; 3Center of Neuroimaging Science, Institute of Psychiatry, London, England, UK
During adolescence a number of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors contribute to significant modifications of the human brain anatomy. Modifications in white matter tracts are of particular importance as these may underlie the acquisition of specific cognitive functions. Here we used diffusion tensor imaging tractography to study the lateralization of the perisylvian pathways from late childhood to early adulthood. Results suggest that lateralization of the most posterior part of the arcuate fasciculus occurs during adolescence, probably due to reorganization of white matter connections in the right hemisphere. Other tracts are already lateralized before adolescence suggesting an early development in life.