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PLoS One. 2017 Jul 19;12(7):e0179919. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179919. eCollection 2017.

Gender differences in cerebral metabolism for color processing in mice: A PET/MRI Study.

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Chidicon Medical Center, Neurocybernetic Flow Laboratory, International Institutes of Advanced Research Training, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiopharmaceutical Cancer Research, Department of Neuroradiopharmaceuticals, Leipzig, Germany.
Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Werner Siemens Imaging Center, Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, Tübingen, Germany.
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Department of Mechanical Engineering Dresden, Germany.



Color processing is a central component of mammalian vision. Gender-related differences of color processing revealed by non-invasive functional transcranial Doppler ultrasound suggested right hemisphere pattern for blue/yellow chromatic opponency by men, and a left hemisphere pattern by women.


The present study measured the accumulation of [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG) in mouse brain using small animal positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (PET/MRI) with statistical parametric mapping (SPM) during light stimulation with blue and yellow filters compared to darkness condition.


PET revealed a reverse pattern relative to dark condition compared to previous human studies: Male mice presented with left visual cortex dominance for blue through the right eye, while female mice presented with right visual cortex dominance for blue through the left eye. We applied statistical parametric mapping (SPM) to examine gender differences in activated architectonic areas within the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex and related cortical and sub-cortical areas that lead to the striatum, medial thalamus and other brain areas. The metabolic connectivity of the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex evoked by blue stimulation spread through a wide range of brain structures implicated in viscerosensory and visceromotor systems in the left intra-hemispheric regions in male, but in the right-to-left inter-hemispheric regions in female mice. Color functional ocular dominance plasticity was noted in the right eye in male mice but in the left eye in female mice.


This study of color processing in an animal model could be applied in the study of the role of gender differences in brain disease.

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