Gender and emotional brain function

Proposal details

Title: Gender and emotional brain function
Research Area(s): Emotion and Self Regulation
Background: Our ARC Discovery (2004-8) project is focused on the continuum of orienting and defensive responses. The theoretical model is that emotional significance acts as a weighting factor in determining our responses to salient stimuli. It is proposed that 1. these responses will vary with age and gender and 2. that individual variation in these responses may explain the vulnerabality to emotion-related disorders (psychosis, PTSD, ADHD), which show marked differences in incidence across males and females. In this component of the project, gender to responses to fear stimuli, assessed using brain function (ERP, fMRI) and simultaneous autonomic measures.
Aims: Females will show relatively enhanced responses (amygdala, SCRs and early ERPs) to emotionally valenced stimuli, relative to males.
Method: The task will be the facial emotion perception task (for fear vs neutral and happy face stimuli).