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Callous-unemotional traits show in brain structure of boys only

Gorkha Post

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Callous and unemotional traits are linked to differences in brain structure in boys, but not in girls, according to a research by a European team led by the University of Basel and University of Basel Psychiatric Hospital.

In a study, published in the journal Neuroimage: Clinical, the researchers have studied on brain development in 189 adolescents.

The researchers, using magnetic resonance imaging, were able to take a closer look at the brain development of typically-developing 189 teenagers to find out whether callous-unemotional traits are linked to differences in brain structure.

The researchers found that the relationship between callous-unemotional traits and brain structure differs between boys and girls.

Callous-unemotional traits are characterised by a lack of empathy, a disregard for others’ feelings and shallow or deficient affect, such as a lack of remorse or guilt. These traits have been linked to deficits in development of the conscience and of empathy.

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The findings showed that in typically-developing boys, the volume of the anterior insula or gray matter volume — a brain region implicated in recognising emotions in others and empathy — is larger in those with higher levels of callous-unemotional traits.

The volume explained 19% of the variance in callous-unemotional traits seen only in, but not in girls with the same personality traits.

The findings showed that in typically-developing boys, the volume of the anterior insula — a brain region implicated in recognizing emotions in others and empathy — is larger in those with higher levels of callous-unemotional traits.
This variation in brain structure was only seen in boys, but not in girls with the same personality traits.

“Our findings demonstrate that callous-unemotional traits are related to differences in brain structure in typically-developing boys without a clinical diagnosis,” said lead author Nora Maria Raschle from the University of Basel in Switzerland.

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Woman’s brain more stimulated than man’s when aroused

Raghu Kshitiz

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LONDON — A female’s mind reacts much more and is more stimulated than a male one when aroused, according to a recent McGill University study.

For the study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers used advanced imaging techniques to scan brain activity in volunteers while they watched porn. And, they were able to detect higher levels of activity in a number of regions of the minds of females, when compared with their male counterparts.

In the study conducted on 20 men and 20 women, each of the individuals was shown erotic film clips while their brain vitals were scanned by two scanners.

Subjects were instructed, during each video, to use a four-button fiberoptic response box indicating any increase or decrease in their sexual arousal.

One of the scanners was an MRI machine that tracked stimulation in their brains. The other was a heat-seeking camera that measured levels of arousal through participant’s genitals.

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The clips from Modern Family were designed as a comparison, to differentiate erotic arousal from humorous in the brain.

They found that genital arousal in women was more strongly linked with changes in brain activity, across numerous regions, than men.

“There were no brain regions in men with stronger brain-genital correlations than in women”, the study stated, according to the Independent.

While interesting, the sample size for the study was too small, according to Qazi Rahman, a psychology lecturer at King’s College London, further adding that more detailed research would be required to draw such certain conclusions. However, he did not deny the complexity of female arousal.

Writing in a paper detailing their findings, the authors said: “The finding was unexpected because most previous research has suggested that the correlations between genital response and subjective arousal are stronger for men.”

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