Sex differences in brain organization

Doreen Kimura

in Neuromotor Mechanisms in Human Communication

Published in print December 1993 | ISBN: 9780195054927
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199872268 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Psychology Series

 Sex differences in brain organization

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This chapter examines sex differences in brain organization for speech and for manual programming and constructional function. Sex differences in the lateralization of function are relatively minor. A more compelling sex difference exists in the intrahemispheric organization of function. For women, the anterior region in the left hemisphere appears to be critical for speech and manual praxic function. The pattern in males shows a more even distribution of these functions across the two brain sectors, but if anything favors the posterior region, particularly for manual function. For constructional tasks, which sample both right- and left-hemisphere function, the anterior regions are again the more critical in women. These findings may relate to sexual dimorphism in human abilities, with males generally having better abilities relating to distance information and females to intrapersonal space.

Keywords: sex differences; brain organization; speech; manual programming; intrahemispheric organization; anterior region; left hemisphere

Chapter.  6398 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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