White matter sexual dimorphism of the adult human brain

Ali K. Bourisly, Grace Gejo, Abrar A. Hayat, Lamya Alsarraf, Fatima M. Dashti, Margherita Di Paola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sex-biased psychophysiology, behavior, brain function, and conditions are extensive, yet underlying structural brain mechanisms remain unclear. There is contradicting evidence regarding sexual dimorphism when it comes to brain structure, and there is still no consensus on whether or not there exists such a dimorphism for brain white matter. Therefore, we conducted a voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis along with global volume analysis for white matter across sex. We analyzed 384 T1-weighted MRI brain images (192 male, 192 female) to investigate any differences in white matter (WM) between males and females. In the VBM analysis, we found males to have larger WM, compared to females, in occipital, temporal, insular, parietal, and frontal brain regions. In contrast, females showed only one WM region to be significantly larger than males: the right postcentral gyrus in the parietal lobe region. Although, on average, males showed larger global WM volume, we did not find any significant difference in global WM volume between males and females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalTranslational Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • brain
  • gender
  • morphometry
  • neuroscience
  • sex
  • VBM
  • white matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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