Brain lateralisation for language areas and fibres is supposed to be unique to our species. In my PhD project (supervisors: Adrien Meguerditchian and Olivier Coulon (LPC, INT, CNRS/Aix-Marseille), I investigated whether similar brain lateralisation for homologous brain areas and fibres also exists in our close primate relatives (mainly baboons, but also chimpanzees) and how they develop.
Curiously, there seems to be a link between this lateralisation and hand preference for communicative gesture. Therefore, we theorise that gesture might have played an important role in the evolution of language.
Inspiring collaborators are Erin Hecht (Harvard University) and William Hopkins (MD Anderson).
Thanks to the Fyssen Foundation, I will start at the Max-Planck-Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in November 2022, in the cross-institutional "Evolution of Brain Connectivity" project (supervisors: Angela Friederici, Alfred Anwander, Catherine Crockford, Roman Wittig).