CCN meeting | Chris McManus (UCL, UK)

16-11-2017 from 15:00 to 16:00
Henri Dunantlaan 2, room 4.3 (4C)
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The Genetics and Evolution of Handedness and Cerebral Lateralization

Handedness runs in families and single gene models can explain the pattern of inheritance, including the relatively low similarity of monozygotic twins, and the relationship of cerebral language dominance to handedness. However Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) evidence convincingly shows that there is no single gene accounting for handedness. An alternative genetic model with multiple loci, which has biological plausibility, also accounts for family and twin data and is compatible with GWAS data. Left-handedness is a polymorphism, and since the rate of left-handedness in populations is relatively stable, there must be a mechanism maintaining the polymorphism, and various possibilities will be considered. Cerebral lateralisation itself is more complex than previously realised, with multiple phenotypes -- cerebral polymorphism -- some of which polymorphisms may result in talents or deficits, and therefore be under selective pressure.