Dick Swaab is a professor of neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam and is associated with the Nederlands Institute for Neuroscience. He writes a weekly column for NRC Handelsblad.He's also one of the world's leading researchers on transsexuality. But not just that, he covers all of neuroscience.
On his blog in the NRC Handelsblad (That's Dutch of "Business News" BTW) he has an article this week on "The atypical brain development of transsexuals". Basically, readers of this blog will have heard it all before - or most of it. One bit that did catch my eye as being new:
Last year Ramachandran, a psychologist and neurologist in the United States presented an interesting hypothesis and preliminary results on transsexuality. His idea is that in M2F transsexuals the representation of the penis is lacking in the cerebral cortex and in F2M transsexuals the region for breasts during development is not mapped onto the cerebral cortex, which is why the brain does not consider the organs as its “own” and wants to get rid of them.That we still have a long way to go in educating the psychiatric profession is proven by the following paragraph though:
Everything indicates that during the early stages of development, the sexual differentiation of the brain occurs atypically in transsexuals, and not that they are “simply” psychotic, as a psychiatrist from Limburg recently dared to assert.A distinctly cheesy remark, and contrary to every piece of evidence in the last 50 years. This goes beyond ignorance, and into the realm of stupidity.