Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Hemispheric asymmetry in the processing of local and global features has been argued to originate from differences in frequency filtering in the two hemispheres, with little neurophysiological support. Here we test the hypothesis that this asymmetry takes place at an encoding stage beyond the sensory level, due to asymmetries in anatomical connections within each hemisphere. We use two simple encoding networks with differential connection structures as models of differential encoding in the two hemispheres based on a hypothesized generalization of neuroanatomical evidence from the auditory modality to the visual modality: The connection structure between columns is more distal in the language areas of the left hemisphere and more local in the homotopic regions in the right hemisphere. We show that both processing differences and differential frequency filtering can arise naturally in this neurocomputational model with neuroanatomically inspired differences in connection structures within the two model hemispheres, suggesting that hemispheric asymmetry in the processing of local and global features may be due to hemispheric asymmetry in connection structure rather than in frequency tuning.