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Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2001 Jan;75(1):1-9.

Sex-related difference in amygdala activity during emotionally influenced memory storage.

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Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, CA 92697-3800, USA.


We tested the possibility suggested by previous imaging studies that amygdala participation in the storage of emotionally influenced memory is differentially lateralized in men and women. Male and female subjects received two PET scans for regional cerebral glucose-one while viewing a series of emotionally provocative (negative) films, and a second while viewing a series of matched, but emotionally more neutral, films. Consistent with suggestions from several previously published studies, enhanced activity of the right, but not the left, amygdala in men was related to enhanced memory for the emotional films. Conversely, enhanced activity of the left, but not the right, amygdala in women was related to enhanced memory for the emotional films. These results demonstrate a clear gender-related lateralization of amygdala involvement in emotionally influenced memory, and indicate that theories of the neurobiology of emotionally influenced memory must begin to account for the influence of gender.

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