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  A functional neuroimaging study assessing gender differences in the neural mechanisms underlying the ability to resist impulsive desires

Diekhof, E. K., Keil, M., Obst, K. U., Henseler, I., Dechent, P., Falkai, P., et al. (2012). A functional neuroimaging study assessing gender differences in the neural mechanisms underlying the ability to resist impulsive desires. Brain Research, 1473, 63-77. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2012.07.010.

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 Creators:
Diekhof, Esther K.1, 2, Author
Keil, Maria1, Author
Obst, Katrin U.1, 3, Author
Henseler, Ilona1, 4, Author              
Dechent, Peter5, Author
Falkai, Peter1, Author
Gruber, Oliver1, Author
Affiliations:
1Center for Translational Research in Systems Neuroscience and Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Georg August University, Goettingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2University of Hamburg, Biocenter Grindel and Zoological Museum, Institute for Human Biology, Martin-Luther-King Platz 3, D-20146, Hamburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Institute of Psychology, Department of Social Psychology, Jena, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, Germany, ou_634549              
5University Medical Center Goettingen, MR-Research in Neurology and Psychiatry, Georg August University, Goettingen, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: fMRI; Psychophysiological interaction; Impulsivity; Frontopolar cortex; Ventral striatum
 Abstract: There is ample evidence of gender differences in neural processes and behavior. Differences in reward-related behaviors have been linked to either temporary or permanent organizational influences of gonadal hormones on the mesolimbic dopamine system and reward-related activation. Still, little is known about the association between biological gender and the neural underpinnings of the ability to resist reward-related impulses. Here we assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging which neural processes enable men and women to successfully control their desire for immediate reward when this is required by a higher-order goal (i.e., during a ‘desire-reason dilemma’; Diekhof and Gruber, 2010). Thirty-two participants (16 females) were closely matched for age, personality characteristics (e.g., novelty seeking) and behavioral performance in the ‘desire-reason task’. On the neural level, men and women showed similarities in the general response of the nucleus accumbens and of the ventral tegmental area to predictors of immediate reward, but they differed in additional brain mechanisms that enabled self-controlled decisions against the preference for immediate reward. Firstly, men exhibited a stronger reduction of activation in the ventral pallidum, putamen, temporal pole and pregenual anterior cingulate cortex during the ‘desire-reason dilemma’. Secondly, connectivity analyses revealed a significant change in the direction of the connectivity between anteroventral prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens during decisions counteracting the reward-related impulse when comparing men and women. Together, these findings support the view of a sexual dimorphism that manifested in the recruitment of gender-specific neural resources during the successful deployment of self-control.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2012-07-072012-07-162012-09-14
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.07.010
PMID: 22814146
Other: Epub 2012
 Degree: -

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Title: Brain Research
  Other : Brain Res.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Amsterdam : Elsevier
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 1473 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 63 - 77 Identifier: ISSN: 0006-8993
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954926250616