Effects of gender on blood flow correlates of naming concrete entities

Neuroimage. 2003 Oct;20(2):940-54. doi: 10.1016/S1053-8119(03)00284-2.


A cross-cohort PET analysis was performed in 62 normal subjects (31 men and 31 women) to address the issue of whether men and women have different physiologic correlates of naming visually presented concrete entities. The subjects named nonunique concrete entities in one or more conceptual categories and also performed a face orientation decision task. A second analysis was performed in 24 additional subjects to assess whether there were gender effects related to the face orientation decision task and to constrain the interpretation of the first analysis. Male subjects engaged the left inferotemporal region and several other left hemisphere regions more than female subjects did during visual naming. Areas showing more activity in female subjects included the right inferior frontal gyrus and right precentral cortex, regions that were less active in visual naming than in the face orientation decision task. In other words, the male subjects engaged the latter regions less or deactivated them more than female subjects. The results can be interpreted as showing a greater modulation of activity in both hemispheres for men compared to women. Although the gender effects we found are smaller than the task effects, they are not negligible for the purposes of performing and interpreting functional imaging studies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed