July 26, 2016 08:30 - 10:00

Sex or Gender differences in Autobiographical Memory? New insights from an fMRI study

[Speaker] Compère, Laurie:1
[Co-author] Charron, Sylvain:1, Gallarda, Thierry:2, Lion, Stéphanie:2, Rari, Eirini:2, Oppenheim, Catherine:2, Piolino, Pascale:1
1:Université Paris Descartes (France), 2:Centre Hospitalier Sainte-Anne (France)

Sex differences have been observed in cognitive and neuroimaging autobiographical memory (AM) studies and suggest that men and women prefer different strategy when retrieving AMs. However, none has tried to determine whether these differences are rather social, individual or biological. To achieve this, we constructed a functional magnetic resonance imagery task to study these strategies used by the participants when recalling AMs according to their gender identity (i.e., their feeling of belonging to a gender and their trend to adopt its stereotypical characteristics). To date, 11 men and 13 women have been involved in this protocol and our preliminary results already highlight activation differences between men and women, with men showing higher frontal activations and women showing greater activation in the insula and cingulate cortex (p<0.005, uncorrected). These differences suggest that women would handle more emotional information than men when recalling AMs, which could be the result of social expectations.
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