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Gender differences in the functional organization of the brain for working memory

Speck, Oliver and Ernst, Thomas and Braun, Jochen and Koch, Christof and Miller, Eric and Chang, Linda (2000) Gender differences in the functional organization of the brain for working memory. Neuroreport, 11 (11). pp. 2581-2585. ISSN 0959-4965.

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Gender differences in brain activation during working memory tasks were examined with fMRI. Seventeen right-handed subjects (nine males, eight females) were studied with four different verbal working memory tasks of varying difficulty using whole brain echo-planar fMRI. Consistent with prior studies, we observed activation of the lateral prefrontal cortices (LPFC), the parietal cortices (PC), and additionally, caudate activation in both sexes. The volume of activated brain tissue increased with increasing task difficulty. For all four tasks, the male subjects showed bilateral activation or right-sided dominance (LPFC, PC and caudate), whereas females showed activation predominantly in the left hemisphere. The task performance data demonstrated higher accuracy and slightly slower reaction times for the female subjects. Our results show a highly significant (p < 0.001) gender differences in the functional organization of the brain for working memory. These gender-specific differences in functional organization of the brain may be due to gender-differences in problem solving strategies or the neurodevelopment. Therefore, gender matching or stratification is required for studies of brain function using imaging techniques.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription abstract
Koch, Christof0000-0001-6482-8067
Additional Information:© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Received 26 April 2000; accepted 5 June 2000. This work was supported in part by NIH (DA00280) and by the NSF-sponsored Neuromorphic Engineering Center at Caltech (JB).
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Neuromorphic Engineering Center, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:fMRI, functional brain organization, Gender differences, Lateralization, Task difficulty, Working memory
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103228930
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40518
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:26 Jan 2008 04:34
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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