Speaking of aging: Changes in gray matter asymmetry in Broca's area in later adulthood

Florian Kurth*, Nicolas Cherbuin, Eileen Luders

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Several theories suggest a change in the brain's asymmetry as we get older. However, it is currently unresolved whether Broca's area, consisting of left Brodmann Areas (BA) 45 and 44, undergoes age-related changes. To address this question, we mapped associations between chronological age and gray matter asymmetry of BA45 and BA44 in a large sample (n = 485) of adults ranging between 42 and 97 years of age. Hemisphere-specific gray matter volumes and asymmetry indices were obtained by integrating cytoarchitectonic probabilities with MRI-based signal intensities. For BA44, we did not observe any significant correlation between age and gray matter asymmetry. In contrast, for BA45, the analysis revealed a significant correlation, which indicates a decreasing asymmetry from rightward to less rightward with increasing age. A subsequent characterization of hemisphere-specific volume loss revealed significant negative associations between age and gray matter volume for left and right BA45, but with weaker effects in the left hemisphere compared to the right. These findings seem to support the assumption of reduced structural asymmetries later in life, at least for BA45, which seem to be driven by a stronger tissue loss in the right hemisphere than the left hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


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