The Neuroanatomy of Atypical Handedness in Schizophrenia

Paul Satz, Michael Foster Green, Steven Ganzell, George Bartzokis, Anthony Bledin, Joseph F. Vaclav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the neuroanatomy of atypical handedness in schizophrenia, focusing a priori on only two anatomical measures in each brain side—that is, ventricular brain ratios (VBR) and hemisphere size—using quantitative measures of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the coronal plane in a subgroup of lateralized and nonlateralized schizophrenic patients, as well as matched controls. A left hemisphere defect and anomalous forms of lateralization have long been proposed, at least in a subset of schizophrenic patients. The focus is on the patterns of atypical manual preference and motor dominance in schizophrenia. Asymmetries in manual preference are established early in childhood and, if pathological, may provide potential markers of early brain insult including its neural substrate, long before the onset of schizophrenic symptoms. The chapter presents results from a study carried on 25 schizophrenic subjects. An increase in VBR asymmetry (left > right) could be accounted for by unusually large left cVBRs or unusually small right cVBRs. To determine which of these factors were contributing to the asymmetry, the cVBRs for the nonlateralized patients were compared to the means for the normal controls. The results provide preliminary evidence for an anatomical asymmetry (left cVBR right cVBR) that was primarily associated with the nonlateralized schizophrenic group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-166
Number of pages14
JournalAdvances in Psychology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1990
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Norrie Shanonfelt, Lin Nelson PhD, and Donna Gaier for their help with the data collection. The sample was obtained with the excellent cooperation of the staff and administration of Camarillo State Hospital and Medical Diagnostic Imaging, Thousand Oaks, CA.. Funding for the project came from NINCDS Grant 22074-01 to Dr. Satz.


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