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Biological sex and sex hormones are known to affect functional cerebral asymmetries (FCAs). Men are generally more lateralized than women. The effect size of this sex difference is small but robust. Some of the inconsistencies in the literature may be explained by sex-related hormonal differences. Most studies focusing on neuromodulatory properties of sex hormones on FCAs have investigated women during the menstrual cycle. Although contradictions exist, these studies have typically shown that levels of estradiol and/or progesterone correlate with the degree of FCAs, suggesting that sex differences in FCAs partially depend on hormonal state and day of testing. The results indicate that FCAs are not fixed but are hormone dependent, and as such they can dynamically change within relatively short periods throughout life. Many issues raised in this Mini-Review refer not only to FCAs but also to other aspects of functional brain organization, such as functional connectivity within and between the cerebral hemispheres. Our understanding of sex differences in brain and behavior as well as their clinical relevance will improve significantly if more studies routinely take sex and sex hormones into account. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Citation

Markus Hausmann. Why sex hormones matter for neuroscience: A very short review on sex, sex hormones, and functional brain asymmetries. Journal of neuroscience research. 2017 Jan 02;95(1-2):40-49

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PMID: 27870404

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