Sex-dependent modulation of activity in the neural networks engaged during emotional speech comprehension

Virginie Beaucousin, Laure Zago, Pierre-Yves Hervé, Kuzma Strelnikov, Fabrice Crivello, Bernard Mazoyer, Nathalie Tzourio-Mazoyer
Brain Research. 2011-05-01; 1390: 108-117
DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.03.043

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1. Brain Res. 2011 May 16;1390:108-17. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.03.043. Epub
2011 Mar 22.

Sex-dependent modulation of activity in the neural networks engaged during
emotional speech comprehension.

Beaucousin V(1), Zago L, Hervé PY, Strelnikov K, Crivello F, Mazoyer B,
Tzourio-Mazoyer N.

Author information:
(1)GIN, UMR 5296, Univ. de Bordeaux, CNRS, CEA, F-33000 Bordeaux, France.

Studies using event related potentials have shown that men are more likely than
women to rely on semantic cues when understanding emotional speech. In a previous
functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study, using an affective sentence
classification task, we were able to separate areas involved in semantic
processing and areas involved in the processing of affective prosody (Beaucousin
et al., 2007). Here we searched for sex-related differences in the neural
networks active during emotional speech processing in groups of men and women.
The ortholinguistic abilities of the participants did not differ when evaluated
with a large battery of tests. Although the neural networks engaged by men and
women during emotional sentence classification were largely overlapping,
sex-dependent modulations were detected during emotional sentence classification,
but not during grammatical sentence classification. Greater activity was observed
in men, compared with women, in inferior frontal cortical areas involved in
emotional labeling and in attentional areas. In conclusion, at equivalent
linguistic abilities and performances, men activate semantic and attentional
cortical areas to a larger extent than women during emotional speech processing.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.03.043
PMID: 21439268 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus