THE ECHO BLOG
FACES OF ECHO: RUTH KASSEL
POSTED SEPTEMBER 30 AT 9:19 AM
By Erin Murphy/ ECHO
makes a male or female brain?
Thursday, January 21, 2010, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Topic 11: What makes a male or female brain?
You've heard the adage that men are from Mars and women are from
Venus — it's time to get the latest scoop on whether there
really are differences in our brains and our thinking. Join
Cynthia Forehand, Professor, UVM, Anatomy & Neurobiology as she
explores this fascinating topic with us.
Dr. Cindy Forehand is Professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at
the University of Vermont (UVM) College of Medicine. She
received her Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill and completed postdoctoral training in the
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at Washington University
in St Louis before joining the faculty at UVM in 1987. Her
research interests are in brain and spinal cord development,
with a focus on the autonomic nervous system. She is Co-Director
of the Center for Biomedical Research Excellence in Neuroscience
at UVM, which is funded by the National Center for Research
Resources. Dr. Forehand is also the Director of the Foundations
level of the Vermont Integrated Curriculum (VIC) for medical
students and directs the VIC Neuroscience course. She teaches
neuroscience to graduate and undergraduate students in
traditional courses and in laboratory science classes.
Check out these websites to get yourself up to speed on
Neurobiology. If you have other articles or sites you've seen,
please contact Lifelong Learning Coordinator Linda Bowden at
so that we can update our website to include your research!
are some easily understood articles on male/female brain:
He Thinks, She Thinks.
It’s not what you expect: Women are
more resilient, men more focused. She navigates by
landmarks, he by internal compass. Our differences are
Girl Brain - Boy Brain.
The two are not the same, but new
work shows just how wrong it is to assume that all gender
differences are hardwired.
Explanation of differences in the brains of males vs females
Sex differences in the brain
Here are some
questions that can be posed at the event:
What does sexually dimorphic mean?
Do differences in the brain outweigh
How do hormones control whether your
brain is male or female?
Are chromosomes important in development
of brain gender?
Is gender binary?
Can environmental toxins alter sexual
differentiation of the brain?
Specific references from Professor Forehand
that form the basis of the Cafe Sci presentation:
Why sex matters for neuroscience. Cahill L. Nat Rev
Neurosci. 2006 Jun;7(6):477-84. Review.
Sexual differentiation of the vertebrate nervous system.
Morris JA, Jordan CL, Breedlove SM. Nat Neurosci. 2004
Sex chromosomes and brain gender. Arnold AP. Nat Rev
Neurosci. 2004 Sep;5(9):701-8. Review.
Early androgen influences on human neural and behavioural
development. Hines M. Early Hum Dev. 2008
Dec;84(12):805-7. Epub 2008 Oct 19. Review.
Building a scientific framework for studying hormonal
effects on behavior and on the development of the sexually
dimorphic nervous system. Li AA, Baum MJ, McIntosh LJ,
Day M, Liu F, Gray LE Jr.
Neurotoxicology. 2008 May;29(3):504-19. Epub 2008 Mar 18.
Layperson overviews of brain development and core concepts
Brain Development pdf. Freely available with permission to
distribute from Society for Neuroscience
Neuroscience Core Concepts pdf. Freely available with
permission to distribute from Society for Neuroscience
Fertile Minds story on brain Development 1997 (illustrations
not included anywhere that I can find)
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