Cerebral Sulcal Asymmetry in Macaque Monkeys
The asymmetry of the cerebral sulcal morphology is particularly obvious in higher primates. The sulcal asymmetry in macaque monkeys, a genus of the Old World monkeys, in our previous studies and others is summarized, and its evolutionary significance is speculated. Cynomolgus macaques displayed fetal sulcation and gyration symmetrically, and the sulcal asymmetry appeared after adolescence. Population-level rightward asymmetry was revealed in the length of arcuate sulcus (ars) and the surface
... and the surface area of superior temporal sulcus (sts) in adult macaques. When compared to other nonhuman primates, the superior postcentral sulcus (spcs) was left-lateralized in chimpanzees, opposite of the direction of asymmetry in the ars, anatomically-identical to the spcs, in macaques. This may be associated with handedness: either right-handedness in chimpanzees or left-handedness/ambidexterity in macaques. The rightward asymmetry in the sts surface area was seen in macaques, and it was similar to humans. However, no left/right side differences were identified in the sts morphology among great apes, which suggests the evolutionary discontinuity of the sts asymmetry. The diversity of the cortical lateralization among primate species suggests that the sulcal asymmetry reflects the species-related specialization of the cortical morphology and function, which is facilitated by evolutionary expansion in higher primates.