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Functional sex differences in human primary auditory cortex.

Ruytjens L, Georgiadis JR, Holstege G, Wit HP, Albers FW, Willemsen AT - Eur. J. Nucl. Med. Mol. Imaging (2007)

Bottom Line: To investigate whether this difference could be attributed to either music or noise, we compared both stimuli with the baseline and revealed that noise gave a significantly higher activation in the female PAC than in the male PAC.Thus we hypothesize that differences in attention result in a different deactivation of the right prefrontal cortex, which in turn modulates the activation of the PAC and thus explains the sex differences found in the activation of the PAC.Our results suggest that sex is an important factor in auditory brain studies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. l.ruytjens@umcutrecht.nl

ABSTRACT

Background: We used PET to study cortical activation during auditory stimulation and found sex differences in the human primary auditory cortex (PAC). Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in 10 male and 10 female volunteers while listening to sounds (music or white noise) and during a baseline (no auditory stimulation).

Results and discussion: We found a sex difference in activation of the left and right PAC when comparing music to noise. The PAC was more activated by music than by noise in both men and women. But this difference between the two stimuli was significantly higher in men than in women. To investigate whether this difference could be attributed to either music or noise, we compared both stimuli with the baseline and revealed that noise gave a significantly higher activation in the female PAC than in the male PAC. Moreover, the male group showed a deactivation in the right prefrontal cortex when comparing noise to the baseline, which was not present in the female group. Interestingly, the auditory and prefrontal regions are anatomically and functionally linked and the prefrontal cortex is known to be engaged in auditory tasks that involve sustained or selective auditory attention. Thus we hypothesize that differences in attention result in a different deactivation of the right prefrontal cortex, which in turn modulates the activation of the PAC and thus explains the sex differences found in the activation of the PAC.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that sex is an important factor in auditory brain studies.

Show MeSH
Regional cerebral blood flow relative to the baseline of each group, based on all voxels in the left and right PAC (with a global mean flow of 50 ml/100 g/min). Error bars indicate the 90% confidence interval of the mean across subjects per condition; the confidence interval of the baseline is also given
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Fig2: Regional cerebral blood flow relative to the baseline of each group, based on all voxels in the left and right PAC (with a global mean flow of 50 ml/100 g/min). Error bars indicate the 90% confidence interval of the mean across subjects per condition; the confidence interval of the baseline is also given

Mentions: The region of interest analysis in the PAC showed that females do have a larger activation in the PAC during music than during noise (p values 0.005 and 0.001 for the left and right PAC, respectively). But the difference between music and noise is much smaller than in males in both the left and right PAC (p values 0.016 and 0.008, respectively, Table 2, Fig. 2). No significant deactivations were found (i.e. noise versus music).Table 2


Functional sex differences in human primary auditory cortex.

Ruytjens L, Georgiadis JR, Holstege G, Wit HP, Albers FW, Willemsen AT - Eur. J. Nucl. Med. Mol. Imaging (2007)

Regional cerebral blood flow relative to the baseline of each group, based on all voxels in the left and right PAC (with a global mean flow of 50 ml/100 g/min). Error bars indicate the 90% confidence interval of the mean across subjects per condition; the confidence interval of the baseline is also given
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2100432&req=5

Fig2: Regional cerebral blood flow relative to the baseline of each group, based on all voxels in the left and right PAC (with a global mean flow of 50 ml/100 g/min). Error bars indicate the 90% confidence interval of the mean across subjects per condition; the confidence interval of the baseline is also given
Mentions: The region of interest analysis in the PAC showed that females do have a larger activation in the PAC during music than during noise (p values 0.005 and 0.001 for the left and right PAC, respectively). But the difference between music and noise is much smaller than in males in both the left and right PAC (p values 0.016 and 0.008, respectively, Table 2, Fig. 2). No significant deactivations were found (i.e. noise versus music).Table 2

Bottom Line: To investigate whether this difference could be attributed to either music or noise, we compared both stimuli with the baseline and revealed that noise gave a significantly higher activation in the female PAC than in the male PAC.Thus we hypothesize that differences in attention result in a different deactivation of the right prefrontal cortex, which in turn modulates the activation of the PAC and thus explains the sex differences found in the activation of the PAC.Our results suggest that sex is an important factor in auditory brain studies.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. l.ruytjens@umcutrecht.nl

ABSTRACT

Background: We used PET to study cortical activation during auditory stimulation and found sex differences in the human primary auditory cortex (PAC). Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in 10 male and 10 female volunteers while listening to sounds (music or white noise) and during a baseline (no auditory stimulation).

Results and discussion: We found a sex difference in activation of the left and right PAC when comparing music to noise. The PAC was more activated by music than by noise in both men and women. But this difference between the two stimuli was significantly higher in men than in women. To investigate whether this difference could be attributed to either music or noise, we compared both stimuli with the baseline and revealed that noise gave a significantly higher activation in the female PAC than in the male PAC. Moreover, the male group showed a deactivation in the right prefrontal cortex when comparing noise to the baseline, which was not present in the female group. Interestingly, the auditory and prefrontal regions are anatomically and functionally linked and the prefrontal cortex is known to be engaged in auditory tasks that involve sustained or selective auditory attention. Thus we hypothesize that differences in attention result in a different deactivation of the right prefrontal cortex, which in turn modulates the activation of the PAC and thus explains the sex differences found in the activation of the PAC.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that sex is an important factor in auditory brain studies.

Show MeSH