Structural differences in the cerebral cortex of healthy female and male subjects: a magnetic resonance imaging study

Thomas E. Schlaepfer, Gordon J. Harris, Allen Y. Tien, Luon Peng, Seong Lee, Godfrey D. Pearlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There are both reproductive and nonreproductive behavioral differences between men and women. Brain regions involved in determining sexual behavior have been reported to differ between the sexes. Nonreproductive, cognitive functional differences between sexes might be reflected in higher-order cortical structural dimorphisms, which have not previously been studied. We hypothesized that cortical regions involved in verbal behavior (which is sexually dimorphic) would differ between sexes. Using magnetic resonance imaging, we assessed gray matter volumes in several cortical regions in 17 women and 43 men. Women had 23.2% (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) and 12.8% (superior temporal gyrus) greater gray matter percentages (corrected for overall brain size and age) than men in a language-related cortical region, but not in a more visuospatially related cortical region. These data seem to establish sexually dimorphic structural differences in the cerebral cortex, consistent with ptior cerebral blood flow reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatry Research: Neuroimaging
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 29 1995

Keywords

  • Cortical gray matter volume
  • Gender dimorphism
  • Heteromodal association cortex
  • Verbal fluency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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