Human evolution and the brain representation of semantic knowledge

Is there a role for sex differences?

Marcella Laiacona, Riccardo Barbarotto, Erminio Capitani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A sexual asymmetry has been recently found on semantic memory tasks: after brain damage, a disproportionate deficit for information about biological categories has been reported more frequently for male patients. A review of cases shows that the fine-grained pattern is more complicated in that there is a strong interaction with sex: Disproportionate plant-knowledge deficits are restricted to males, whereas disproportionate animal-knowledge deficits are rare and show no sex bias. These clinical data are consistent with semantic-knowledge data from normal subjects indicating a task-invariant female advantage with plant categories. In this study, we seek an explanation for this sex-by-semantic category interaction and discuss the possible roles of a greater female experience with plant items, both ontogenetically and over evolutionary time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-168
Number of pages11
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

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human evolution
Semantics
gender differences
Sex Characteristics
brain
deficit
semantics
gender
Brain
brain damage
Sexism
interaction
asymmetry
animal
damage
trend
Human Evolution
Sex Differences
animals
experience

Keywords

  • Semantic memory
  • Sex differences
  • Sexual division of labor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Development

Cite this

Human evolution and the brain representation of semantic knowledge : Is there a role for sex differences? / Laiacona, Marcella; Barbarotto, Riccardo; Capitani, Erminio.

In: Evolution and Human Behavior, Vol. 27, No. 2, 03.2006, p. 158-168.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Laiacona, Marcella ; Barbarotto, Riccardo ; Capitani, Erminio. / Human evolution and the brain representation of semantic knowledge : Is there a role for sex differences?. In: Evolution and Human Behavior. 2006 ; Vol. 27, No. 2. pp. 158-168.
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