Mechanisms of Asymmetrical Development of the Human CNS

  • Richard S. Nowakowski


Does the asymmetrical development of the CNS have a genetic basis? Arguments for and against this idea have been made frequently in the past (e.g., Annett, 1985a; Bianki et al., 1979; Collins, 1977; Corballis and Morgan, 1978; Levy, 1977; Morgan, 1977) without resolving the basic question. Any theory that attempts to provide a genetic basis for the occurrence of asymmetries in the human nervous system has to accommodate a number of facts and overcome a variety of conceptual difficulties. In addition, a plausible genetic hypothesis needs accompanying plausible developmental mechanisms, complete with cell biological and molecular facets, through which the gene(s) could act to produce an asymmetric organization in the adult structure. It is the purpose of this chapter to speculate on the possible nature of genetic and developmental mechanisms that could produce structural asymmetries in the adult CNS. It is hoped that these speculations will provide both stimulus and a foundation for future experiments.


Corpus Callosum Situs Inversus Nematode Caenorhabditis Elegans Functional Asymmetry Postembryonic Development 


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© Birkhäuser Boston 1992

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  • Richard S. Nowakowski

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