Sexual dimoprhism in human brain...

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Thu, 16 Feb 1995 23:38:52 -0500

(Thurs Feb 16) regarding research conducted at Yale using Magnetic
Resonance Imaging which showed differences in parts of the brain used
when thinking about a linguistic task rhyming nonsense words, such as
"jete" and "lete". This study found that different parts of the brain
were used by women and men in arriving at the same solution. A small
portion of the male left frontal region in Broca's region 'lit up' (fresh
oxygenated blood supply) whereas ion females the same area lit up as well
as a portion of the right frontal lobe. The sample was 19 men and 19
women. All 19 men used the small left side portion, and 11 women used
both sides, The other 8 women apparently used the same small left side
component as the men. The study was part of a research project studying
This study is rather an important breakthrough, as all other studies
purporting to show dimorphism have relied on autopsy materials (my own
with the corpus callosum), clinical neurological evidence from strokes
and other cerebral insults (such as the work of Doreen Kimura), but none
have dealt with a complex cognitive such as phonemic comparison and
caught it, so to speak. The study strengthens those arguments that have
suggested that the male brain is more asymmetrical than the female's. The
main investigator is Dr. Sally Shaywitz, and the article is to be
published in the journal Nature.
Sure would be interesting to study this cross-culturally.