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Re: sex differences in perception of environmental sounds

Hi Joanna,
Just a note that an analysis with sex as a factor may be telling you more about
the average effects of hormones on the organization of the brain over
development than the physiological milleu during testing.  I am not sure which
one you are more interested in, but I would hypothesize that a preference for
crying is a partially state-dependent measure (and Seifritz would seem to
corroberate as one would hypothesize that parental status affects behavior over
the long and short-term).

Sex as a factor includes (among other things) a hypothesized difference in
hormone levels, but these differences are rarely validated by measuring the
hormones themselves.  This is problematic because many end up sampling across
ages, pregnancy status (although not in fMRI studies), points in the menstrual
cycle, etc. without relating behavior to hormones.  So, both positive and
negative effects as a function of sex are difficult to interpret and underlying
mechanisms are often underspecified or pure speculation.

With respect to the amygdala, our group has found different activation at
different points in the menstrual cycle to affective stimuli, although the
effect is not as large as in parts of pre-frontal cortex. 

Seifritz is a good example of a messy sample.  Their groups only matched on
history of mental disorder, psychotropic medication, ans socioeconomic status.
Further, some of the males and females are couples.

Just a thought as you design your study, something as simple as determining
where in the menstrual cycle your subjected is tested can be very helpful in
understanding why you did or did not see an effect.


Brandon Abbs, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Harvard Medical School
Brigham and Women's Hospital
1620 Tremont Street, BC-3-34 DWH
Boston, MA 02120
Phone: 617-525-8641
Fax: 617-525-7900
E-Mail: babbs@xxxxxxxxxxxx
-----Original Message-----
From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception
[mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Massimo Grassi
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 1:02 AM
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [AUDITORY] sex differences in perception of environmental sounds

> Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with me. I am specifically
> interested in physiological measures of responses to sounds like baby
> crying. 

Seifritz E., Esposito F., Neuhoff J.G., Luthi A., Mustovic, H., Dammann, 
G., von Bardeleben U., Radue E.W., Cirillo, S., Tedeschi, G., Di Salle, 
F. (2003). Differential sex-independent amygdala response to infant 
crying and laughing in parents versus non-parents. Biological 
Psychiatry, 54, 1367 - 1375

plus, check the journal "Evolution & Human Behavior" that often 
publishes similar works.


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