Sex differences and menstrual cycle effects in cognitive and sensory resting state networks.

Weis, Susanne, Hodgetts, Sophie and Hausmann, Markus (2019) Sex differences and menstrual cycle effects in cognitive and sensory resting state networks. Brain and Cognition, 131. pp. 66-73. ISSN 0278-2626

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It has not yet been established if resting state (RS) connectivity reflects stable characteristics of the brain, or if it is modulated by the psychological and/or physiological state of the participant. Based on research demonstrating sex hormonal effects in task-related brain activity, the present study aimed to investigate corresponding differences in RS networks. RS functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (RS fMRI) was conducted in women during three different menstrual cycle phases, while men underwent three repeated RS fMRI testing sessions. Independent component analysis was used to identify the default mode network (DMN) and an auditory RS network. For the DMN, RS connectivity was stable across testing sessions in men, but varied across the menstrual cycle in women. For the auditory network (AN), retest reliable sex difference was found. Although RS activity in the DMN has been interpreted as trait characteristic of functional brain organization, these findings suggest that RS activity in networks involving frontal areas might be less stable than in sensory-based networks and can dynamically fluctuate. This also implies that some of the previously reported effects of sex hormones on task-related activity might to some extent be mediated by cycle-related fluctuations in RS activity, especially when frontal areas are involved.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
Psychology > Cognitive Behaviour
Psychology > Neuropsychology
Psychology > Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Sophie Hodgetts
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2018 11:19
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 16:05

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