Human evolution theory utilizing concepts of neoteny & female sexual selection
An etiology of neuropsychological disorders such as autism and dyslexia, and the origin of left handedness.
Theoretical speculation in humans (S.F. Witelson, Psychoneuroendocrinology 16 (1991) 131-153) and empirical findings in animals (R.H. Fitch, P.E. Cowell, L.M. Schrott, V.H. Denenberg, Int. J. Dev. Neurosci. 9 (1991) 35-38) suggest that testosterone (T) may play a significant role in the development of the corpus callosum (CC). However, there are currently no empirical studies directly relating T concentrations to callosal morphology in humans. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between free T concentrations as determined by radioimmunoassay, and the mid-sagittal area of the corpus callosum, as determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Subjects were 68 young adult (20-35 years), neurologically normal, right-handed males. All subjects underwent MRI and provided two samples of saliva for radioimmunoassay of T and cortisol. Anatomical regions of interest included total brain volume, left and right hemisphere volume and regional areas of the CC. CC regions were defined using two different measurement techniques, each dividing the CC into six sub-sections. Anatomical measurements were performed blind with respect to the hormone levels of subjects. A significant positive correlation between T concentration and cross-sectional area of the posterior body of the CC was found. This finding was consistent across the two measurement techniques and was not attributable to individual differences in total brain volume. All correlations between cortisol and CC sub-regions were non-significant. The results of this study are consistent with the notion that T, at an earlier stage in development, may play a significant role in modulating cortical/callosal architecture in humans. (Moffat SD, Hampson E, Wickett JC, Vernon PA, Lee DH (1997) Testosterone is correlated with regional morphology of the human corpus callosum. Brain Res 767(2):297-304)