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Gender and rapid alterations of hemispheric dominance during planning


Schuepbach, D; Skotchko, T; Duschek, S; Theodoridou, A; Grimm, S; Boeker, H; Seifritz, E (2012). Gender and rapid alterations of hemispheric dominance during planning. Neuropsychobiology, 66(3):149-157.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Mental planning and carrying out a plan provoke specific cerebral hemodynamic responses. Gender aspects of hemispheric laterality using rapid cerebral hemodynamics have not been reported.
METHOD: Here, we applied functional transcranial Doppler sonography to examine lateralization of cerebral hemodynamics of the middle cerebral arteries of 28 subjects (14 women and 14 men) performing a standard planning task. There were easy and difficult problems, and mental planning without motor activity was separated from movement execution.
RESULTS: Difficult mental planning elicited lateralization to the right hemisphere after 2 or more seconds, a feature that was not observed during movement execution. In females, there was a dominance to the left hemisphere during movement execution. Optimized problem solving yielded an increased laterality change to the right during mental planning.
CONCLUSIONS: Gender-related hemispheric dominance appears to be condition-dependent, and change of laterality to the right may play a role in optimized performance. Results are of relevance when considering laterality from a perspective of performance enhancement of higher cognitive functions, and also of psychiatric disorders with cognitive dysfunctions and abnormal lateralization patterns such as schizophrenia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Mental planning and carrying out a plan provoke specific cerebral hemodynamic responses. Gender aspects of hemispheric laterality using rapid cerebral hemodynamics have not been reported.
METHOD: Here, we applied functional transcranial Doppler sonography to examine lateralization of cerebral hemodynamics of the middle cerebral arteries of 28 subjects (14 women and 14 men) performing a standard planning task. There were easy and difficult problems, and mental planning without motor activity was separated from movement execution.
RESULTS: Difficult mental planning elicited lateralization to the right hemisphere after 2 or more seconds, a feature that was not observed during movement execution. In females, there was a dominance to the left hemisphere during movement execution. Optimized problem solving yielded an increased laterality change to the right during mental planning.
CONCLUSIONS: Gender-related hemispheric dominance appears to be condition-dependent, and change of laterality to the right may play a role in optimized performance. Results are of relevance when considering laterality from a perspective of performance enhancement of higher cognitive functions, and also of psychiatric disorders with cognitive dysfunctions and abnormal lateralization patterns such as schizophrenia.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Clinical and Social Psychiatry Zurich West (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:31 Jan 2013 16:05
Last Modified:21 Jun 2016 16:16
Publisher:Karger
ISSN:0302-282X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1159/000339562
PubMed ID:22948314

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