neuroscience training?

John H. johnh at
Thu Mar 11 21:00:49 EST 2004


Have downloaded the file, can forward if you wish; 465k

The Journal of Neuroscience, May 1, 2003 . 23(9):3790 -3795
Menstrual Cycle-Dependent Neural Plasticity in the Adult
Human Brain Is Hormone, Task, and Region Specific
Guille´n Ferna´ndez,1,3 Susanne Weis,1 Birgit Stoffel-Wagner,2 Indira
Tendolkar,4 Markus Reuber,1 Stefan Beyenburg,1
Peter Klaver,1 Ju¨rgen Fell,1 Armin de Greiff,5 Ju¨rgen Ruhlmann,6 Ju¨rgen
Reul,6 and Christian E. Elger1
Departments of 1Epileptology and 2Clinical Biochemistry, University of Bonn,
53105 Bonn, Germany, 3F. C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging,
6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands, 4Department of Psychiatry, University of
Cologne, 50924 Cologne, Germany, 5Departments of Neurology and
Neuroradiology, University of Essen, 45122 Essen, Germany, and 6Department
of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Neuroradiology, Medical Center Bonn, 53119
Bonn, Germany
In rodents, cyclically fluctuating levels of gonadal steroid hormones
modulate neural plasticity by altering synaptic transmission and
synaptogenesis. Alterations ofmoodand cognition observed during the
menstrual cycle suggest that steroid-related plasticity also occurs
in humans. Cycle phase-dependent differences in cognitive performance have
almost exclusively been found in tasks probing lateralized
neuronal domains, i.e., cognitive domains such as language, which are
predominantly executed by one hemisphere. To search for neural
correlates of hormonally mediated neural plasticity in humans, we thus
conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study
measuring brain activity related to a semantic decision task in the language
domain. This was contrasted with a letter-matching task in the
perceptual domain, in which we expected no steroid hormone-mediated effect.
We investigated 12 young healthy women in a counterbalanced
repeated-measure design during low-steroid menstruation and high-steroid
midluteal phase. Steroid serum levels correlated
with the volume and lateralization of particular brain activations related
to the semantic task but not with brain activity related to the
perceptual task. More specifically, bilateral superior temporal recruitment
correlated positively with progesterone and medial superior
frontal recruitment with both progesterone and estradiol serum levels,
whereas activations in inferior and middle frontal cortex were
unaffected by steroid levels. In contrast to these specific interactions,
testosterone levels correlated nonselectively with overall activation
levels by neural and/or vascular factor(s). In conclusion, our data
demonstrate steroid hormone responsivity in the adult human brain by
revealing neural plasticity in the language domain, which appears hormone,
task, and region specific.
"NMF" <nm_fournier at> wrote in message
news:2w44c.28234$hG.351644 at
> "John H." <johnh at faraway.> wrote in message
> news:405037d3 at
> > Last year some
> > German scientists studied how female brains handle language through the
> > course of the menstrual cycle. To their surprise they found noted
> > differences across the cycle. Not small regionally specific differences
> > either, but wholesale changes in left-right balance in language
> > and comprehension.
> Hi John, could you find the reference to that study.  I would really
> appreciate it.
> Thanks a lot.

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