Linked Sex Differences in Cognition and Functional Connectivity in Youth

Theodore D. Satterthwaite, Daniel H. Wolf, David R. Roalf, Kosha Ruparel, Guray Erus, Simon Vandekar, Efstathios D. Gennatas, Mark A. Elliott, Alex Smith, Hakon Hakonarson, Ragini Verma, Christos Davatzikos, Raquel E. Gur, Ruben C. Gur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sex differences in human cognition are marked, but little is known regarding their neural origins. Here, in a sample of 674 human participants ages 9-22, we demonstrate that sex differences in cognitive profiles are related to multivariate patterns of resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rsfc-MRI). Males outperformed females on motor and spatial cognitive tasks; females were faster in tasks of emotion identification and nonverbal reasoning. Sex differences were also prominent in the rsfc-MRI data at multiple scales of analysis, with males displaying more between-module connectivity, while females demonstrated more within-module connectivity. Multivariate pattern analysis using support vector machines classified subject sex on the basis of their cognitive profile with 63% accuracy (P <0.001), but was more accurate using functional connectivity data (71% accuracy; P <0.001). Moreover, the degree to which a given participant's cognitive profile was "male" or "female" was significantly related to the masculinity or femininity of their pattern of brain connectivity (P = 2.3 × 10-7). This relationship was present even when considering males and female separately. Taken together, these results demonstrate for the first time that sex differences in patterns of cognition are in part represented on a neural level through divergent patterns of brain connectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2383-2394
Number of pages12
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume25
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Sex Characteristics
Cognition
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Femininity
Masculinity
Brain
Emotions
Multivariate Analysis

Keywords

  • adolescence
  • cognition
  • connectivity
  • connectome
  • development
  • fMRI
  • network
  • resting-state
  • sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Satterthwaite, T. D., Wolf, D. H., Roalf, D. R., Ruparel, K., Erus, G., Vandekar, S., ... Gur, R. C. (2015). Linked Sex Differences in Cognition and Functional Connectivity in Youth. Cerebral Cortex, 25(9), 2383-2394. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhu036

Linked Sex Differences in Cognition and Functional Connectivity in Youth. / Satterthwaite, Theodore D.; Wolf, Daniel H.; Roalf, David R.; Ruparel, Kosha; Erus, Guray; Vandekar, Simon; Gennatas, Efstathios D.; Elliott, Mark A.; Smith, Alex; Hakonarson, Hakon; Verma, Ragini; Davatzikos, Christos; Gur, Raquel E.; Gur, Ruben C.

In: Cerebral Cortex, Vol. 25, No. 9, 01.09.2015, p. 2383-2394.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Satterthwaite, TD, Wolf, DH, Roalf, DR, Ruparel, K, Erus, G, Vandekar, S, Gennatas, ED, Elliott, MA, Smith, A, Hakonarson, H, Verma, R, Davatzikos, C, Gur, RE & Gur, RC 2015, 'Linked Sex Differences in Cognition and Functional Connectivity in Youth', Cerebral Cortex, vol. 25, no. 9, pp. 2383-2394. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhu036
Satterthwaite TD, Wolf DH, Roalf DR, Ruparel K, Erus G, Vandekar S et al. Linked Sex Differences in Cognition and Functional Connectivity in Youth. Cerebral Cortex. 2015 Sep 1;25(9):2383-2394. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhu036
Satterthwaite, Theodore D. ; Wolf, Daniel H. ; Roalf, David R. ; Ruparel, Kosha ; Erus, Guray ; Vandekar, Simon ; Gennatas, Efstathios D. ; Elliott, Mark A. ; Smith, Alex ; Hakonarson, Hakon ; Verma, Ragini ; Davatzikos, Christos ; Gur, Raquel E. ; Gur, Ruben C. / Linked Sex Differences in Cognition and Functional Connectivity in Youth. In: Cerebral Cortex. 2015 ; Vol. 25, No. 9. pp. 2383-2394.
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