Re: Sexual dimoprhism in human brain...

ray scupin (scupin@LC.LINDENWOOD.EDU)
Fri, 17 Feb 1995 10:34:17 -0600

Ralph and Colleagues:

I once heard a rumor that Victor Turner's son is a neuroscientist
who intended to use MRI, CATSCANS, etc. to study brain usage
cross-culturally. Can anyone confirm any of this and point to any
relevant research in this area? This would probably help us clarify a
lot of issues regarding cross-cultural cognition, linguistic determinism,

Ray Scupin
Sociology/Anthropology Dept. Lindenwood College

On Thu, 16 Feb 1995, Ralph L Holloway wrote:

> There was an interesting front page article in the NY Times today
> (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
> dyslexia.
> 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.