Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Connectomes and Male-Female Brains #1

Have you been following the news items about Connectomes and the human brain? A connectome is a comprehensive map of neural connections in the brain. Using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), a tool that can indirectly outline the path of myelinated axons that facilitate long-range conduction of electrochemical signals and are part of the brain's white matter, researchers have established the level of connectivity between nearly 100 regions of the brain.

The results of connectome studies by Madhura Ingalhalikar and colleagues were published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences under the title of “Sex differences in the structural connectome of the human brain.”

It established “that male brains are optimized for intrahemispheric communication and female brains for interhemispheric communication. The developmental trajectories of males and females separate at a young age, demonstrating wide differences during adolescence and adulthood. The observations suggest that male brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action, whereas female brains are designed to facilitate communication between analytical and intuitive processing modes.”

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