The divided brain: Functional brain asymmetry underlying self-construal

Gen Shi, Xuesong Li, Yifan Zhu, Ruihong Shang, Yang Sun, Hua Guo, Jie Sui* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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Self-construal (orientations of independence and interdependence) is a fundamental concept that guides human behaviour, and it is linked to a large number of brain regions. However, understanding the connectivity of these regions and the critical principles underlying these self-functions are lacking. Because brain activity linked to self-related processes are intrinsic, the resting-state method has received substantial attention in the field. Here, we focused on resting-state functional connectivity matrices based on brain asymmetry as indexed by the differential partition of the connectivity located in mirrored positions of the two hemispheres, hemispheric specialization measured using the intra-hemispheric (left or right) connectivity, brain communication via inter-hemispheric interactions, and global connectivity as the sum of the two intra-hemispheric Combining machine learning techniques with hypothesis-driven network mapping approaches, we demonstrated that orientations of independence and interdependence were best predicted by the asymmetric matrix compared to brain communication, hemispheric specialization, and global connectivity matrices. The network results revealed that there were distinct asymmetric connections between the default mode network, the salience network and the executive control network for orientations of independence and interdependence. These analyses shed light on the importance of brain asymmetry in understanding how complex self-functions are optimally represented in the brain networks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number118382
Number of pages11
Early online date9 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

This research is partly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (62071049, 61801026) & Capital Medical University Advanced Innovation Center for Big Data-Based Precision Medicine Plan (BHME-201907), and the Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2019-010).


  • self-construal
  • resting state functional connectivity (rsFC)
  • brain asymmetry
  • hemispheric specialisation


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