twic 4 days ago

What's torquing my brain is that in the diagram, the left is on the right, and the right is on the left!

  • Someone 4 days ago

    Left and right are defined from “1st person’s perspective”, but that’s not how medics typically look at their patients. When a doctor looks a patient in the eye, the left is on the right, and the right is on the left.

    That’s why many medical illustrations have the left on the right and vice versa (examples:,

    • DaiPlusPlus 4 days ago

      Isn’t this also why the terms SX and DX are used (from the Latin Sinister and Dexter, for Left and Right) respectively - because they always unambiguously refer to the subject/patient’s left and right?

      • twic 4 days ago

        Same with port and starboard on a ship.

        • KC8ZKF 4 days ago

          Or "stage right" and "stage left."

          • harperlee 3 days ago

            Or rive gauche and rive droite ,at least in french, as you flow in a river.

  • pfortuny 4 days ago

    It is looked at from below... Strange.

    • twic 4 days ago

      Below and in front. Like you were looking at the underneath of a hat you were about to put on someone else, not on yourself.

  • KC8ZKF 4 days ago

    Also, if you look at it as bottom as front, the description doesn't match. The left side is slightly forward to the right, contrary to the article.

  • bookofjoe 4 days ago

    YES! I spent about 10 minutes trying to visualize the diagram as correct before I gave up. In my case, I just thought I wasn't looking at it correctly.

  • kazinator 4 days ago

    Must be a cranial view (toward the top of the head from the bottom).

behnamoh 4 days ago

I wish the article would talk about the consequences of this. For example, does this make left-handed people more "left-handed"?

voldacar 4 days ago

What causes the torque? Does it have to do with blood pressure being slightly higher on the heart's side of the body or something like that?

  • uj8efdkjfdshf 4 days ago

    Given that the rostral (head) end of the neural tube literally bends inward (cephalic flexure) as it grows into the enclosed space of the head to later become the brain, and that the tip is also attached to a clump of cells that will become the heart (cardiac anlage) which is also migrating downwards with the tip of the neural tube and to the left side of the chest, it is altogether unsurprising that the brain should be slightly pulled to the left.

    • blueprint 4 days ago

      The articles doesn't indicate if research is sufficiently advanced to have established the time that torquing occurs but given that it's associated strongly with handedness, it seems reasonable to consider it likely that the torquing develops during the stage of increase neural plasticity during normal childhood development. I wonder if the torque balances out if a person later develops ambidextrousness.

nouveau0 4 days ago

Is this observed only in humans? I'd like to find out if it's just a human thing or more general like in all mammals

  • eindiran 4 days ago

    I just edited the article to explain that. It is well observed in modern-humans and fossil hominids. There's evidence that it is observed in other primates, including great apes and monkeys, but the evidence is conflicting; so probably it exists in other primates, but to a lesser degree. It is not believed to extend beyond the primates.

naringas 4 days ago

is this a pathology? the wikipedia article doesn't make it clear.

  • tropdrop 4 days ago

    No. The pathology is if the torque is in the reverse direction (as someone else mentioned in comments, the result is a stutter).

martyvis 4 days ago

Why is the diagram "exaggerated"? If the physiology is not that obvious maybe the significance isn't either.

  • Scaevolus 4 days ago

    It's pretty obvious on CT scans: -- and here I've been thinking I had a weirdly lopsided brain for 8 years!

    • marmaduke 4 days ago

      I've seen quite a few MRI scans, that's pretty heavily lopsided

    • dajohnson89 4 days ago

      may I ask why you got a CT scan? sorry if that's too personal, just curious.

ttizya20 4 days ago

If you look at a picture of Albert Einstein's brain it looks like something similar.

knolax 4 days ago

Goes to show how stupid the convention of naming scientific terms after people is. The name "Yakolevian Torque" is not at all descriptive of what the phenomenon is, is hard to spell, and is hard to pronounce. You could say that it's to honor the discoverer but for a natural phenomenon does it really matter who discovered it first given that its a property of reality itself that holds true regardless of who discovered it.

Besides that, many such phenomenon by their nature are discovered simultaneously by multiple people, making their naming by this convention a point of unnecessary political contention.

Naming scientific terms after people also creates an unnecessary barrier to international collaboration. Although scientific terms are usually the most easy terms to translate given the universality of the topic on hand, proper names are usually the most difficult to translate terms from any given language to any other language due to their lack of semantic meaning and therefore the requirement for transliteration, which in most cases is a lossy process. For any given language and English, there are often many different transliteration schemes, making it difficult for even someone who speaks both languages to find the spelling that has been converged upon in English.

The previous point basically nullifies any notion that naming a scientific term after a person honors that person, since it is very likely that it results in their name being butchered across multiple languages, often in egregious ways bordering on offensive.

  • blueprint 4 days ago

    Well, it's not strictly a bad idea to name it by some unique name if it turns out to be the case that another, better, more rigorous theory or set of observations is developed about the cause and range/extent of morphologies associated with the torque that makes the concept of Yakolevian Torque obsolete.

    • knolax 4 days ago

      If the concept of Yakolevian Torque becomes obselete we'll just stop referring to it regardless of how it's named. If it only needs to be updated in a way that obseletes the older descriptional name we can just give it a newer more apt descriptional name.