John Libbey Eurotext

Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement

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Does the brain have a gender? A literature review in younger and older adults Volume 12, issue 4, Décembre 2014

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Authors
Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France ; Institut de psychologie, Boulogne Billancourt, France ; Inserm U894, Centre de psychiatrie et neurosciences, Laboratoire mémoire et cognition, Paris, France
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There are no longer doubts about the existence of gender's differences in cognition, only their origin is still controversial. The literature provides evidence of differences in cognitive performance and brain activation patterns and links these differences in men and women with biological, social and psychological measures. To date, the favored hypothesis explaining these differences is the cognitive style hypothesis according to which women and men would favor different strategies while resolving some tasks. Some of these tasks are autobiographical memory tasks, which are also the most sensitive to the effects of age but very few studies had explored the impact of aging on the differences in cognition between men and women. We discuss the importance of such studies about the gender's differences in aging. A better understanding of gender differences in cognition in pathological aging as in health would provide the opportunity to offer a more personalized care.