In this review, Martina develops an overarching model to explain the ontogeny of neuronal asymmetries combining data from human and animal research. It suggests a multi-level model for asymmetry formation whereby the relative impact of genetic and nongenetic factors varies between different developmental phases and neuronal structures. The basic lateralized organization of a brain is already established through genetically controlled embryonic events. During ongoing development, hemispheric specialization increases for specific functions and subsystems interact to shape the final functional organization of a brain. In particular, these developmental steps are influenced by environmental experiences, which regulate the fine-tuning of neural networks via processes that are referred to as ontogenetic plasticity.
This review is part of the Special Issue “Cognitive and Neurophysiological Models of Brain Asymmetry” edited by Sebastian Ocklenburg & Onur Güntürkün
Manns M (2021). It Is Not Just in the Genes. Symmetry 13: 1815