Broca's area and the search for anatomical asymmetry: commentary and perspectives.
Sprung-Much T., Eichert N., Nolan E., Petrides M.
We present a brief commentary on the field's search for an anatomical asymmetry between Broca's area and its homologue in the non-dominant hemisphere, focusing on a selection of studies, including research from the last decade. We demonstrate that, several years after the influential review of Keller and colleagues from 2009, and despite recent advances in neuroimaging, the existence of a structural asymmetry of Broca's area is still controversial. This is especially the case for studies of the macroanatomy of this region. We point out the inconsistencies in methodology across studies that could account for the discrepancy in results. Investigations of the microstructure of Broca's area show a trend of a leftward asymmetry, but it is still unclear how these results relate to language dominance. We suggest that it may be necessary to combine multiple metrics in a systematic manner to find robust asymmetries and to expand the regional scope of structural investigations. Finally, based on the current state of the literature, we should not rule out the possibility that language dominance may simply not be reflected in local anatomical differences in the brain.