DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhad437 ISSN: 1047-3211

Hemispheric lateralization of language processing: insights from network-based symptom mapping and patient subgroups

Zhiyun Dai, Luping Song, Chongjing Luo, Di Liu, Mingyang Li, Zaizhu Han
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


The hemispheric laterality of language processing has become a hot topic in modern neuroscience. Although most previous studies have reported left-lateralized language processing, other studies found it to be bilateral. A previous neurocomputational model has proposed a unified framework to explain that the above discrepancy might be from healthy and patient individuals. This model posits an initial symmetry but imbalanced capacity in language processing for healthy individuals, with this imbalance contributing to language recovery disparities following different hemispheric injuries. The present study investigated this model by analyzing the lateralization patterns of language subnetworks across multiple attributes with a group of 99 patients (compared to nonlanguage processing) and examining the lateralization patterns of language subnetworks in subgroups with damage to different hemispheres. Subnetworks were identified using a whole-brain network-based lesion-symptom mapping method, and the lateralization index was quantitatively measured. We found that all the subnetworks in language processing were left-lateralized, while subnetworks in nonlanguage processing had different lateralization patterns. Moreover, diverse hemisphere-injury subgroups exhibited distinct language recovery effects. These findings provide robust support for the proposed neurocomputational model of language processing.

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