Send to

Choose Destination
Psychophysiology. 2016 Jan;53(1):14-20. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12453.

Neurological damage disrupts normal sex differences in psychophysiological responsiveness to music.

Author information

Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.
Department of Neurology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.
Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, USA.


Men and women often display different physiological responses to emotional stimuli, and these responses can be affected by brain damage. Here, we investigated how brain damage differentially affects electrodermal responses based on sex. We studied neurologically normal, healthy adults and a sample of neurological patients. Participants listened to music, an emotional stimulus that reliably elicits skin conductance responses (SCRs). Electrodermal activity was recorded while participants listened to musical clips. When analyzing the data without regard to sex, there were no differences between healthy and brain-damaged participants in their SCRs. However, we found a significant interaction between brain injury status and sex. For men, brain damage significantly reduced SCRs. For women, there were no differences between brain-damaged participants and neurologically healthy participants. These findings illustrate the importance of including demographic variables, such as sex, when investigating brain-behavior relationships with a psychophysiological dependent variable.


Cognition; Electrodermal; Emotion; Neurological; Normal

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center