Gender related differences in visual and auditory processing of verbal and figural tasks.Brain Res. 2009 Dec 01; 1300:135-45.BR
The aim of the present study was to investigate gender related differences in brain activity for tasks of verbal and figural content presented in the visual and auditory modality. Thirty male and 30 female respondents solved four tasks while their electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded. Also recorded was the percentage of oxygen saturation of hemoglobin (%StO(2)) in the respondents' frontal brain areas with near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). The main findings of the study can be summarized as follows. (1) Most pronounced differences between males and females were observed for the factor modality-visual/auditory. (2) Gender related differences in neuroelectric brain responses could be observed during the solution of auditory and visual tasks; however, on the behavioral level only for the visual tasks did females display shorter reaction times than males. The ERP amplitudes of the early evoked gamma response, P1, and P3 were higher in females than males, whereas the N4 amplitude was higher in males than females. The differences were more noticeable in the visual modality. The NIRS showed a more bilateral involvement of the frontal brain areas in females as compared with a more left hemispheric frontal activity in males. In the task conditions an increase in right hemispheric activity in females was observed; however, this increase was less pronounced in the visual than the auditory domain, indicating a more lateralized processing of visual stimuli in females. Taken all together the results suggest that the females' visual event-categorization process is more efficient than in males.