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Sexual dimorphism of Broca's region: More gray matter in female brains in Brodmann areas 44 and 45


Kurth, Florian; Jäncke, Lutz; Luders, Eileen (2017). Sexual dimorphism of Broca's region: More gray matter in female brains in Brodmann areas 44 and 45. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 95(1-2):626-632.

Abstract

Although a sexual dimorphism in brain structure is generally well established, evidence for sex differences in Brodmann areas (BA) 44 and 45 is inconclusive. This may be due to the difficulty of accurately defining BA 44 and BA 45 in magnetic resonance images, given that these regions are variable in their location and extent and that they do not match well with macroanatomic landmarks. Here we set out to test for possible sex differences in the local gray matter of BA 44/45 by integrating imaging-based signal intensities with cytoarchitectonically defined tissue probabilities in a sample of 50 male and 50 female subjects. In addition to testing for sex differences with respect to left- and right-hemispheric measures of BA 44/45, we also assessed possible sex differences in BA 44/45 asymmetry. Our analyses revealed significantly larger gray matter volumes in females compared with males for BA 44 and BA 45 bilaterally. However, there was a lack of significant sex differences in BA 44/45 asymmetry. These results corroborate reports of a language-related female superiority, particularly with respect to verbal fluency and verbal memory tasks. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Abstract

Although a sexual dimorphism in brain structure is generally well established, evidence for sex differences in Brodmann areas (BA) 44 and 45 is inconclusive. This may be due to the difficulty of accurately defining BA 44 and BA 45 in magnetic resonance images, given that these regions are variable in their location and extent and that they do not match well with macroanatomic landmarks. Here we set out to test for possible sex differences in the local gray matter of BA 44/45 by integrating imaging-based signal intensities with cytoarchitectonically defined tissue probabilities in a sample of 50 male and 50 female subjects. In addition to testing for sex differences with respect to left- and right-hemispheric measures of BA 44/45, we also assessed possible sex differences in BA 44/45 asymmetry. Our analyses revealed significantly larger gray matter volumes in females compared with males for BA 44 and BA 45 bilaterally. However, there was a lack of significant sex differences in BA 44/45 asymmetry. These results corroborate reports of a language-related female superiority, particularly with respect to verbal fluency and verbal memory tasks. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 University Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2 January 2017
Deposited On:30 Nov 2016 08:20
Last Modified:18 Dec 2016 06:02
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0360-4012
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/jnr.23898
PubMed ID:27870461

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