Sex-related differences in the hemispheric laterality of slow cortical potentials during the preparation of visually guided movements
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Previous work suggests the presence of sex differences in the laterality of brain activity in the premotor-parietal network during the preparation of visually guided reaching movements. In the current study, electroencephalography was used to test the hypothesis that women would have higher amplitude potentials over frontal and parietal regions ipsilateral to arm movements, relative to men. Event-related slow cortical potentials (SCPs) were collected from 30 participants (15 men and 15 women) during the performance of two visually guided reaching conditions (eyes and arm moved to the same spatial location or moved in opposite directions). The results of the study demonstrate that the amplitudes of SCPs were significantly higher overlying frontal regions of the right hemisphere of women relative to men. These differences were present both during an instructed-delay period prior to receiving a go-signal to initiate movement and during the period just prior to movement initiation. The study also revealed an interaction of Sex and Condition in the parietal region during the pre-movement period. These results suggest that motor preparatory activity in men mainly occurs in the hemisphere contralateral to reaching but that preparatory activity in women is distributed relatively more bilaterally. However, the nature of these differences changes over the time course of the preparatory period and is partially dependent on the type of visuomotor mapping being performed.
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