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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.

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Spatial distribution of significant decreases in brain activation in men and women for the comparison of noise to the baseline. Clusters are significant at p < 0.05, FDR corrected for multiple comparisons. x = 20 means a sagittal plane 20 mm on the right of the anterior commissure, z = 29 means a horizontal plane 29 mm dorsal to the anterior commissure. Only men showed a significant deactivation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
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Fig4: Spatial distribution of significant decreases in brain activation in men and women for the comparison of noise to the baseline. Clusters are significant at p < 0.05, FDR corrected for multiple comparisons. x = 20 means a sagittal plane 20 mm on the right of the anterior commissure, z = 29 means a horizontal plane 29 mm dorsal to the anterior commissure. Only men showed a significant deactivation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

Mentions: The voxel-wise analysis of SPM also revealed a significant deactivation in the male group. This deactivation was located in the right dorsolateral part of the prefrontal cortex extending to the posterior part of the middle frontal gyrus, covering primarily BA 9 (Fig. 4 and Table 1). In contrast, no significant deactivation was found in the female group.Fig. 4


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)

Spatial distribution of significant decreases in brain activation in men and women for the comparison of noise to the baseline. Clusters are significant at p < 0.05, FDR corrected for multiple comparisons. x = 20 means a sagittal plane 20 mm on the right of the anterior commissure, z = 29 means a horizontal plane 29 mm dorsal to the anterior commissure. Only men showed a significant deactivation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2100432&req=5

Fig4: Spatial distribution of significant decreases in brain activation in men and women for the comparison of noise to the baseline. Clusters are significant at p < 0.05, FDR corrected for multiple comparisons. x = 20 means a sagittal plane 20 mm on the right of the anterior commissure, z = 29 means a horizontal plane 29 mm dorsal to the anterior commissure. Only men showed a significant deactivation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
Mentions: The voxel-wise analysis of SPM also revealed a significant deactivation in the male group. This deactivation was located in the right dorsolateral part of the prefrontal cortex extending to the posterior part of the middle frontal gyrus, covering primarily BA 9 (Fig. 4 and Table 1). In contrast, no significant deactivation was found in the female group.Fig. 4

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