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Special Issue Call for Papers

Brain and behavioural asymmetries in non-human species

Manuscript deadline
15 October 2020

About this Special Issue

Title: Brain and behavioural asymmetries in non-human species
Editors of the Special Issue: Lesley J Rogers, University of New England, and Giorgio Vallortigara, University of Trento.


Papers published in this Special Issue will report on asymmetry of brain and behaviour in invertebrate and vertebrate species. Since the discovery that lateralization is not a unique characteristic of humans, evidence of its presence in a broad range of non-human species has accumulated. The editors hope to attract papers that do not simply report the existence of lateralization in yet another non-human species but rather consider the evidence from a comparative perspective, thereby discussing evolutionary aspects of lateralization and/or the development of lateralization. Papers dealing with behavioural as well as anatomical, physiological, cellular and genetic mechanisms of lateralization will be considered. Also, papers dealing with mathematical models of the evolution and maintenance of lateralization will be of interest. Papers discussing lateralization in humans can be also considered provided that they approach the topic from a comparative perspective, i.e. comparison of handedness among different primate species.

Submitted papers can take the form of empirical or review papers (including meta-analyses), as long as they fit the theme of the special issue and contribute to advances in research (i.e., go beyond existing data in terms of theory or practice).

Submission Deadline

Manuscripts should be submitted by Thursday October 15th, 2020.  

For details of how to submit your paper, please read the Instructions for Authors on the journal homepage.

Guest Editors

Lesley J. Rogers is Emeritus Professor at the University of New England, Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. Her academic qualifications are B. Sc. Hons. (Adelaide University), Doctor of Philosophy (University of Sussex), and Doctor of Science (University of Sussex University).

Her discovery of asymmetry of visual behaviour in the chick pioneered research on lateralized behaviour in non-human species. Furthermore, her finding that light exposure of the embryo is an important factor in the development of visual asymmetry was ground-breaking. She has studied lateralization of brain structure and function in a range of species from invertebrates to primates. Most recently, her research, conducted in collaboration with Giorgio Vallortigara, has focussed on lateralized memory and responses in social and asocial bees, and it has demonstrated that directional asymmetry of behaviour at the population level is linked with social behaviour.

Her research has been supported continuously by the Australian Research Council. Her publications include 12 authored books (some books translated and published in several languages), 7 edited books, 6 edited journal volumes, 52 chapters in books, 231 papers in leading international journals and many articles for a general audience.

Giorgio Vallortigara is Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Animal Cognition and Neuroscience Laboratory at the Centre for Mind/Brain Sciences of the University of Trento, Italy.

His major research interest is the study of brain and behavioural asymmetries in a comparative and evolutionary perspective. With Lesley Rogers he first discovered functional brain asymmetry in fish and amphibians. He also studies cognition from a comparative and evolutionary perspective, with particular reference to the mechanisms underlying the use of geometry in spatial navigation and the origins of number and object cognition in the animal brain. Professor Vallortigara’s most recent work has focused also on the study of brain asymmetry and cognition in insects.

On these topics he has published more than 300 refereed papers, that have received more than 20,000 citations overall (h-index=79; source Google Scholar). He has contributed also to several books chapters, and is the author with L.J. Rogers and R.J. Andrew of the monograph “Divided Brains” (Cambridge University Press, 2013). His work has been rated several times in the Faculty of 1000 Biology and widely described in general science books of animal behaviour, cognitive science and neuroscience. He has been the recipient of several honors and prizes, including, among others, two ERC Advanced Grants, the Geoffrey de St. Hilaire Prize for Ethology, and a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Ruhr in Germany.