Recent neuroimaging studies have established a sex-related hemispheric lateralization of amygdala involvement in memory for emotionally arousing material. Here, we examine the possibility that sex-related differences in amygdala involvement in memory for emotional material develop from differential patterns of amygdala functional connectivity evident in the resting brain. Seed voxel partial least square analyses of regional cerebral blood flow data revealed significant sex-related differences in amygdala functional connectivity during resting conditions. The right amygdala was associated with greater functional connectivity in men than in women. In contrast, the left amygdala was associated with greater functional connectivity in women than in men. Furthermore, the regions displaying stronger functional connectivity with the right amygdala in males (sensorimotor cortex, striatum, pulvinar) differed from those displaying stronger functional connectivity with the left amygdala in females (subgenual cortex, hypothalamus). These differences in functional connectivity at rest may link to sex-related differences in medical and psychiatric disorders.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Dr. James Fallon in neuroanatomical matters. This work was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs and NIMH grants MH11641 to D.Z and MH57508 to L.C. This research was presented in part at the Sixth Annual Sex and Gene Expression meeting in Winston-Salem, NC (2005).
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.