Sex differences in functional brain activation during a lexical visual field task

Susan L. Rossell, Edward T. Bullmore, Steve C. R. Williams, Anthony S. David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Functional MRI was used to investigate sex differences in brain activation during a paradigm similar to a lexical-decision task. Six males and 6 females performed two runs of the lexical visual field task (i.e., deciding which visual field a word compared with a pseudoword was presented to). A sex difference was noted behaviorally: The reaction time data showed males had a marginal right visual field advantage and women a left visual field advantage. Imaging results showed that men had a strongly left-lateralized pattern of activation, e.g., inferior frontal and fusiform gyrus, while women showed a more symmetrical pattern in language related areas with greater right-frontal and right-middle-temporal activation. The data show evidence of task-specific sex differences in the cerebral organization of language processing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and Language
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • lexical visual field task
  • sex differences
  • language processing
  • functional MRI


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