Sex differences in functional activation patterns revealed by increased emotion processing demands
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Two [O(15)] PET studies assessed sex differences regional brain activation in the recognition of emotional stimuli. Study I revealed that the recognition of emotion in visual faces resulted in bilateral frontal activation in women, and unilateral right-sided activation in men. In study II, the complexity of the emotional face task was increased through tje addition of associated auditory emotional stimuli. Men again showed unilateral frontal activation, in this case to the left; whereas women did not show bilateral frontal activation, but showed greater limbic activity. These results suggest that when processing broader cross-modal emotional stimuli, men engage more in associative cognitive strategies while women draw more on primary emotional references.
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