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More than just two sexes: the neural correlates of voice gender perception in gender dysphoria.

Junger J, Habel U, Bröhr S, Neulen J, Neuschaefer-Rube C, Birkholz P, Kohler C, Schneider F, Derntl B, Pauly K - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Compared to men and women, MtFs showed differences in a neural network including the medial prefrontal gyrus, the insula, and the precuneus when responding to male vs. female voices.With increased voice morphing men recruited more prefrontal areas compared to women and MtFs, while MtFs revealed a pattern more similar to women.On a behavioral and neuronal level, our results support the feeling of MtFs reporting they cannot identify with their assigned sex.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical School, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany; Jülich Aachen Research Alliance-Translational Brain Medicine, Jülich, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Gender dysphoria (also known as "transsexualism") is characterized as a discrepancy between anatomical sex and gender identity. Research points towards neurobiological influences. Due to the sexually dimorphic characteristics of the human voice, voice gender perception provides a biologically relevant function, e.g. in the context of mating selection. There is evidence for a better recognition of voices of the opposite sex and a differentiation of the sexes in its underlying functional cerebral correlates, namely the prefrontal and middle temporal areas. This fMRI study investigated the neural correlates of voice gender perception in 32 male-to-female gender dysphoric individuals (MtFs) compared to 20 non-gender dysphoric men and 19 non-gender dysphoric women. Participants indicated the sex of 240 voice stimuli modified in semitone steps in the direction to the other gender. Compared to men and women, MtFs showed differences in a neural network including the medial prefrontal gyrus, the insula, and the precuneus when responding to male vs. female voices. With increased voice morphing men recruited more prefrontal areas compared to women and MtFs, while MtFs revealed a pattern more similar to women. On a behavioral and neuronal level, our results support the feeling of MtFs reporting they cannot identify with their assigned sex.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Graduate voice gender morphing.A. Contrast estimates of stronger activation in men as compared to women (blue) in the right SFG (peak voxel 15 5 52) for increasing morphing degree plotted for all 8 conditions. B. Contrast estimates of stronger activation in men as compared to MtFs (blue) in the right SFG (peak voxel 27 −1 46) for increasing morphing degree plotted for all 8 conditions (p<0.05 Monte Carlo corrected, extent threshold  = 20 voxels).
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pone-0111672-g003: Graduate voice gender morphing.A. Contrast estimates of stronger activation in men as compared to women (blue) in the right SFG (peak voxel 15 5 52) for increasing morphing degree plotted for all 8 conditions. B. Contrast estimates of stronger activation in men as compared to MtFs (blue) in the right SFG (peak voxel 27 −1 46) for increasing morphing degree plotted for all 8 conditions (p<0.05 Monte Carlo corrected, extent threshold  = 20 voxels).

Mentions: With respect to the parametric weighting of the linearly increasing morphing degree, stronger activation in the right superior frontal gyrus (SFG, MNI 27 −1 46, k = 21, t = 3.51) was found in men compared to MtFs (Figure 3). Parameter estimates reflected an overall increase in activation with higher degrees of morphing, whereas MtFs did not show such a pattern in this region. No activation difference was found for the reverse contrast (MtFs > men). There was no difference in either contrasts between women and MtFs.


More than just two sexes: the neural correlates of voice gender perception in gender dysphoria.

Junger J, Habel U, Bröhr S, Neulen J, Neuschaefer-Rube C, Birkholz P, Kohler C, Schneider F, Derntl B, Pauly K - PLoS ONE (2014)

Graduate voice gender morphing.A. Contrast estimates of stronger activation in men as compared to women (blue) in the right SFG (peak voxel 15 5 52) for increasing morphing degree plotted for all 8 conditions. B. Contrast estimates of stronger activation in men as compared to MtFs (blue) in the right SFG (peak voxel 27 −1 46) for increasing morphing degree plotted for all 8 conditions (p<0.05 Monte Carlo corrected, extent threshold  = 20 voxels).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4222943&req=5

pone-0111672-g003: Graduate voice gender morphing.A. Contrast estimates of stronger activation in men as compared to women (blue) in the right SFG (peak voxel 15 5 52) for increasing morphing degree plotted for all 8 conditions. B. Contrast estimates of stronger activation in men as compared to MtFs (blue) in the right SFG (peak voxel 27 −1 46) for increasing morphing degree plotted for all 8 conditions (p<0.05 Monte Carlo corrected, extent threshold  = 20 voxels).
Mentions: With respect to the parametric weighting of the linearly increasing morphing degree, stronger activation in the right superior frontal gyrus (SFG, MNI 27 −1 46, k = 21, t = 3.51) was found in men compared to MtFs (Figure 3). Parameter estimates reflected an overall increase in activation with higher degrees of morphing, whereas MtFs did not show such a pattern in this region. No activation difference was found for the reverse contrast (MtFs > men). There was no difference in either contrasts between women and MtFs.

Bottom Line: Compared to men and women, MtFs showed differences in a neural network including the medial prefrontal gyrus, the insula, and the precuneus when responding to male vs. female voices.With increased voice morphing men recruited more prefrontal areas compared to women and MtFs, while MtFs revealed a pattern more similar to women.On a behavioral and neuronal level, our results support the feeling of MtFs reporting they cannot identify with their assigned sex.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Medical School, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany; Jülich Aachen Research Alliance-Translational Brain Medicine, Jülich, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Gender dysphoria (also known as "transsexualism") is characterized as a discrepancy between anatomical sex and gender identity. Research points towards neurobiological influences. Due to the sexually dimorphic characteristics of the human voice, voice gender perception provides a biologically relevant function, e.g. in the context of mating selection. There is evidence for a better recognition of voices of the opposite sex and a differentiation of the sexes in its underlying functional cerebral correlates, namely the prefrontal and middle temporal areas. This fMRI study investigated the neural correlates of voice gender perception in 32 male-to-female gender dysphoric individuals (MtFs) compared to 20 non-gender dysphoric men and 19 non-gender dysphoric women. Participants indicated the sex of 240 voice stimuli modified in semitone steps in the direction to the other gender. Compared to men and women, MtFs showed differences in a neural network including the medial prefrontal gyrus, the insula, and the precuneus when responding to male vs. female voices. With increased voice morphing men recruited more prefrontal areas compared to women and MtFs, while MtFs revealed a pattern more similar to women. On a behavioral and neuronal level, our results support the feeling of MtFs reporting they cannot identify with their assigned sex.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus