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Left-right Cortical Asymmetries Of Regional Cerebral Blood Flow During Listening To Words

Y. Nishizawa, T. S. Olsen, B. Larsen, N. A. Lassen

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1. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured during rest and during listening to simple words. The xenon-133 intracarotid technique was used and results were obtained from 254 regions of seven right hemispheres and seven left hemispheres. The measurements were performed just after carotid angiography, carried out to exclude space occupying lesions. In all subjects the angiogram was normal. All were right handed. 2. Mean hemispheric blood flow of both left and right hemispheres increased 10% from the resting measurement during the listening task. This increase was due in part to activation of the entire hemisphere. The focal rCBF increases were localized to the superior part of the temporal regions, the prefrontal regions, the frontal eye fields, and the orbitofrontal regions. Significant asymmetries were found in particular in the superior temporal region with the left side showing a more widespread and intense increase, averaging 29% as compared to 18% on the right side. This left-sided dominance during verbal stimulation should be compared to the right-sided dominance of rCBF during nonverbal sound discrimination reported by Roland et al. (25, 26), who used precisely the same technique as in the present study.