Sex differences associated with corpus callosum development in human infants: A longitudinal multimodal imaging study.

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TitleSex differences associated with corpus callosum development in human infants: A longitudinal multimodal imaging study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsSchmied, A, Soda, T, Gerig, G, Styner, M, Swanson, MR, Elison, JT, Shen, MD, Mckinstry, RC, Pruett, JR, Botteron, KN, Estes, AM, Dager, SR, Hazlett, HC, Schultz, RT, Piven, J, Wolff, JJ
Corporate AuthorsIBIS Network
JournalNeuroimage
Volume215
Pagination116821
Date Published2020 07 15
ISSN1095-9572
Abstract

The corpus callosum (CC) is the largest connective pathway in the human brain, linking cerebral hemispheres. There is longstanding debate in the scientific literature whether sex differences are evident in this structure, with many studies indicating the structure is larger in females. However, there are few data pertaining to this issue in infancy, during which time the most rapid developmental changes to the CC occur. In this study, we examined longitudinal brain imaging data collected from 104 infants at ages 6, 12, and 24 months. We identified sex differences in brain-size adjusted CC area and thickness characterized by a steeper rate of growth in males versus females from ages 6-24 months. In contrast to studies of older children and adults, CC size was larger for male compared to female infants. Based on diffusion tensor imaging data, we found that CC thickness is significantly associated with underlying microstructural organization. However, we observed no sex differences in the association between microstructure and thickness, suggesting that the role of factors such as axon density and/or myelination in determining CC size is generally equivalent between sexes. Finally, we found that CC length was negatively associated with nonverbal ability among females.

DOI10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.116821
Alternate JournalNeuroimage
PubMed ID32276067
PubMed Central IDPMC7292750
Grant ListU54 EB005149 / EB / NIBIB NIH HHS / United States
U54 HD079124 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P30 HD003110 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
K01 MH101653 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 HD055741 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
U54 HD086984 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH118362 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States