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Schuepbach, Daniel; Skotchko, Tatjana; Duschek, Stefan; Theodoridou, Anastasia; Grimm, Simone; Boeker, Heinz; Seifritz, Erich (2012): Gender and Rapid Alterations of Hemispheric Dominance during Planning. In: Neuropsychobiology, No. 3: pp. 149-157


Background: Mental planning and carrying out a plan provoke specific cerebral hemodynamic responses. Gender aspects of hemispheric laterality using rapid cerebral hemodynamics have not been reported. Method: Here, we applied functional transcranial Doppler sonography to examine lateralization of cerebral hemodynamics of the middle cerebral arteries of 28 subjects (14 women and 14 men) performing a standard planning task. There were easy and difficult problems, and mental planning without motor activity was separated from movement execution. Results: Difficult mental planning elicited lateralization to the right hemisphere after 2 or more seconds, a feature that was not observed during movement execution. In females, there was a dominance to the left hemisphere during movement execution. Optimized problem solving yielded an increased laterality change to the right during mental planning. Conclusions: Gender-related hemispheric dominance appears to be condition-dependent, and change of laterality to the right may play a role in optimized performance. Results are of relevance when considering laterality from a perspective of performance enhancement of higher cognitive functions, and also of psychiatric disorders with cognitive dysfunctions and abnormal lateralization patterns such as schizophrenia. Copyright (C) 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel