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Sex differences in cortical and subcortical recruitment during simple and complex motor control : an fMRI study.

Lissek, S. and Hausmann, M. and Knossalla, F. and Peters, S. and Nicolas, V. and Güntürkün, O. and Tegenthoff, M. (2007) 'Sex differences in cortical and subcortical recruitment during simple and complex motor control : an fMRI study.', Neuroimage., 37 (3). pp. 912-926.


In this study we compared brain activation patterns in men and women during performance of a fine motor task, in order to investigate the influence of motor task complexity upon asymmetries of hemispheric recruitment. Thirty-three right-handed participants (17 male, 16 female) performed a self-paced finger-tapping task comprising three conditions of increasing complexity with both the dominant and the non-dominant hand. Imaging results demonstrated significant sex differences in brain activation patterns. While women showed significantly larger activation of ipsi- and contralateral task-related cortical areas than men, men exhibited significantly stronger subcortical activation in striatal regions. The observed activation differences may reflect sex differences in control of voluntary motor skills related to differential emphasis upon cortical and subcortical correlates of motor sequence processing, as well as differences in hemispheric recruitment, by means of which men and women can nevertheless achieve comparable motor performance.

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Record Created:24 Feb 2009
Last Modified:05 Apr 2010 17:04

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