Sex-linked neuroanatomical basis of human altruistic cooperativeness

Yamasue, Hidenori, Abe, Osamu, Suga, Motomu, Yamada, Haruyasu, Rogers, Mark A., Aoki, Shigeki, Kato, Nobumasa and Kasai, Kiyoto 2008, Sex-linked neuroanatomical basis of human altruistic cooperativeness, Cerebral cortex, vol. 18, no. 10, pp. 2331-2340, doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhm254.

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Title Sex-linked neuroanatomical basis of human altruistic cooperativeness
Author(s) Yamasue, Hidenori
Abe, Osamu
Suga, Motomu
Yamada, Haruyasu
Rogers, Mark A.ORCID iD for Rogers, Mark A.
Aoki, Shigeki
Kato, Nobumasa
Kasai, Kiyoto
Journal name Cerebral cortex
Volume number 18
Issue number 10
Start page 2331
End page 2340
Total pages 10
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2008
ISSN 1460-2199
Keyword(s) altruism
cooperative behavior
sex characteristics
magnetic resonance imaging
regression analysis
young adult
Summary Human altruistic cooperativeness, one of the most important components of our highly organized society, is along with a greatly enlarged brain relative to body size a spectacular outlier in the animal world. The "social-brain hypothesis" suggests that human brain expansion reflects an increased necessity for information processing to create social reciprocity and cooperation in our complex society. The present study showed that the young adult females (n = 66) showed greater Cooperativeness as well as larger relative global and regional gray matter volumes (GMVs) than the matched males (n = 89), particularly in the social-brain regions including bilateral posterior inferior frontal and left anterior medial prefrontal cortices. Moreover, in females, higher cooperativeness was tightly coupled with the larger relative total GMV and more specifically with the regional GMV in most of the regions revealing larger in female sex-dimorphism. The global and most of regional correlations between GMV and Cooperativeness were significantly specific to female. These results suggest that sexually dimorphic factors may affect the neurodevelopment of these "social-brain" regions, leading to higher cooperativeness in females. The present findings may also have an implication for the pathophysiology of autism; characterized by severe dysfunction in social reciprocity, abnormalities in social-brain, and disproportionately low probability in females.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/cercor/bhm254
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Oxford University Press
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