Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Another part of the puzzle

Increased Cortical Thickness in Male-to-Female Transsexualism Luders et al, Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 2011

Background: The degree to which one identifies as male or female has a profound impact on one’s life.
Yet, there is a limited understanding of what contributes to this important characteristic termed gender identity.
In order to reveal factors influencing gender identity, studies have focused on people who report strong feelings of being the opposite sex, such as male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals.
Method: To investigate potential neuroanatomical variations associated with transsexualism, we compared the regional thickness of the cerebral cortex between 24 MTF transsexuals who had not yet been treated with cross-sex hormones and 24 age-matched control males.
Results: Results revealed thicker cortices in MTF transsexuals, both within
regions of the left hemisphere (i.e., frontal and orbito-frontal cortex, central sulcus, perisylvian regions, paracentral gyrus) and right hemisphere (i.e., pre-/post-central gyrus, parietal cortex, temporal cortex, precuneus, fusiform, lingual, and orbito-frontal gyrus).
Conclusion: These findings provide further evidence that brain anatomy is associated with gender identity, where measures in MTF transsexuals appear to be shifted away from gender-congruent men.


Anonymous said...

To which Kathy would add:


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Hum Brain Mapp. 2006 Apr;27(4):314-24.
Gender effects on cortical thickness and the influence of scaling.
Luders E, Narr KL, Thompson PM, Rex DE, Woods RP, Deluca H, Jancke L, Toga AW.

Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, Department of Neurology, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095-1769, USA.

Using magnetic resonance imaging and well-validated computational cortical pattern matching methods in a large and well-matched sample of healthy subjects (n = 60), we analyzed the regional specificity of gender-related cortical thickness differences across the lateral and medial cortices at submillimeter resolution. To establish the influences of brain size correction on gender effects, comparisons were performed with and without applying affine transformations to scale each image volume to a template. We revealed significantly greater cortical thickness in women compared to men, after correcting for individual differences in brain size, while no significant regional thickness increases were observed in males. The pattern and direction of the results were similar without brain size correction, although effects were less pronounced and a small cortical region in the lateral temporal lobes showed greater thickness in males. Our gender-specific findings support a dimorphic organization in male and female brains that appears to involve the architecture of the cortical mantle and that manifests as increased thickness in female brains. This sexual dimorphism favoring women, even without correcting for brain size, may have functional significance and possibly account for gender-specific abilities and/or behavioral differences between sexes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Zoe Brain said...

Kathy, you're a marvel. That was the paper I was looking for!

Nicole Jade said...

Where can we find that whole paper?

Anonymous said...

Antarctic bivalves have surprised scientists who have discovered that the animals switch sex.