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Brain Gender and Idenity

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Brain Gender and Idenity

Post by Lorri Kat on Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:40 pm

Brain Gender Identity
Brain gender identity SW Ecker. Abstract presented at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting; May 18, 2009; San Francisco.
Gender Identity is that innate sense of who you are in this world with reference to your sexuality and behavior, not necessarily corresponding to your genitalia and reproductive organs. Transgender people are atypical and “think” as the opposite gender. Certain areas of the brain have been shown to be sexually dimorphic. They are different in structure and numbers of neurons in males versus females. Protein Receptors for the sex hormones in different areas of the brain must be present in sufficient numbers to receive those powerful hormones. There are androgen receptors (AR), Estrogen Receptors (ER), and Progesterone receptors (PRs).  Hormone receptor genes have been identified, which are responsible for sexually dimorphic brain differentiation in the hypothalamus. Multiple genes acting in concert determine our sexual identity. The human brain continues to make neurons and synaptic neuronal connections throughout life. This contributes to Gender Role Behaviors denoting individuals in the continuum of gender identity. Gender behaviors must be differentiated from gender identity (Hines). Gender Identity cannot be predicted from anatomy (Reiner). Brain gender identity is determined very early in fetal development, but gender expression, expressed as behaviors requires hormonal, environmental, social and cultural interactions, which evolve with time. One cannot deny the profound effects of Testosterone, Estradiol and other steroids on genital differentiation in-utero or their effects on behavior from birth or the physical and mental cross gender changes caused by exogenous hormones, but gender identity is determined before and persists in spite of these effects.
Since individuals who identify as transsexual report strong feelings of being the opposite sex and a belief that their sexual characteristics do not reflect their true gender we analyzed MRI data of 24 male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals not yet treated with cross-sex hormones in order to determine whether gray matter volumes in MTF transsexuals more closely resemble people who share their biological sex (30 control men), or people who share their gender identity (30 control women). Results revealed that regional gray matter variation in MTF transsexuals is more similar to the pattern found in men than in women. However, MTF transsexuals show a significantly larger volume of regional gray matter in the right putamen compared to men. These findings provide new evidence that transsexualism is associated with distinct cerebral pattern, which supports the assumption that brain anatomy plays a role in gender identity.
Simply: Transsexual’s brain grey matter share commonality in proportion with males and females in various areas as well as distinctively more volume in their left and right putamen then the control men and women.  

MRI results show that the white matter microstructure pattern in untreated FtM transsexuals is closer to the pattern of subjects who share their gender identity (males) than those who share their biological sex (females). These results provide evidence for an inherent difference in the brain structure of FtM transsexuals.  MtF transsexuals differed from both male and female controls bilaterally in the superior longitudinal fasciculus, the right anterior cingulum, the right forceps minor, and the right corticospinal tract. These results show that the white matter microstructure pattern in untreated MtF transsexuals falls halfway between the pattern of the male and female controls.

Increased cortical thickness in MTF transsexuals.  Above panel: the brain maps illustrate the mean cortical thickness within MTF transsexuals and within control men, separately. The brain surfaces are color-coded according to the color bar where thickness is shown in millimeters (mm). Right panel: the brain maps illustrate where the cortex is significantly thicker in MTF transsexuals than in control men. The brain surfaces are color-coded according to FDR-corrected significance. Gray color indicates regions where both groups did not differ significantly.
Luders E, Sánchez F, Tosun D, et al. Increased Cortical Thickness in Male-to-Female Transsexualism. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science. 2012.

Brain Mapping Gender Identity: What Makes A Boy A Girl?
A recent brain mapping study investigates gender identity in a new, more scientific way. Silvio Tanaka, Creative Common
A study conducted at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at UCLA School of Medicine, explored the extent to which brain anatomy is associated with gender identity. "The degree to which one identifies as male or female has a profound impact on one's life," the authors wrote. "Yet, there is a limited understanding of what contributes to this important characteristic termed gender identity."
Many who live at variance to their birth gender as well as many in the scientific field would heartily agree.
Brain Science
Specifically, the UCLA researchers chose to investigate potential neuroanatomical variations associated with transsexualism; in particular, they applied a "whole-brain approach" in which they would compare the thickness of the cortex across the lateral and medial brain cortical surfaces at thousands of surface points. "The cerebral cortex contains approximately 80% of the neurons of the central nervous system and contributes largely to factors such as social awareness, attitudes, and decision-making," the authors wrote. Given the relevance of these factors in association with transsexualism, they expected to find alterations in MTF (male to female) transsexuals compared to control men.
To be included in the study, the transsexual participants needed to self-identify as a MTF transsexual, report no history of hormonal treatment, and declare their intention to undergo estrogen replacement therapy. Their ages ranged between 23 and 72. The researchers processed the brain images and examined the regional thickness of the cerebral cortex, comparing the measurements of the 24 MTF transsexuals with those of 24 age-matched control males.
They found the MTF transsexuals, as compared to the control participants, had thicker cortices (outer layers of their cerebellums), both within regions of the left hemisphere and right hemisphere. "Regional gray matter characteristics in MTF transsexuals are more similar to the pattern found in men (i.e., in subjects sharing biological sex) than in women," the authors wrote. "However, we also noticed that brain characteristics in MTF transsexuals and in control men were not fully identical."
The thicker areas within the left hemisphere of MTF transsexuals included the frontal and orbito-frontal cortex (involved in decision-making), central sulcus, perisylvian regions (helps to process language), and paracentral gyrus; and within the right hemisphere included pre-/post-central gyrus (involved in sense of touch), parietal cortex (integrates sensory information), temporal cortex (involved with visual information), precuneus (concerned with reflections upon self and aspects of consciousness), fusiform, lingual, and orbito-frontal gyrus.
"The current study provides evidence that brain anatomy is associated with gender identity, where measures in MTF transsexuals appear to be shifted away from gender-congruent men," wrote the authors.
Scientific corroboration, then, supports what individuals have tried to express for years. Since the time of Hirschfeld and Benjamin, the trans community has expanded to include not just transvestites and transsexuals but also androgynes (individuals who identify as androgynous), genderqueers (individuals who identify as somewhere in between male and female), bigenders (individuals who identify as both male and female), and any other individual who describes gender in a non-binary way. In all likelihood, scientists may soon find distinct features of the brain that correspond with each individual point along this continuum of gender possibility, identification, and expression.

Sources: Luders E, Sánchez F, Tosun D, et al. Increased Cortical Thickness in Male-to-Female Transsexualism. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science. 2012.

I will get the file pics on when I  can. : (
Lorri Kat
Lorri Kat

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Brain Development

Post by Lorri Kat on Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:42 pm

Brain Developments
How does the brain develop in a normal male fetus?

All males start out as female embryos. However, somewhere between the 8th week to the 24th week a change to male occurs if the chromosomes are ‘XY’. They ‘XY’ chromosomes cause Testosterone to be produced and released by the body in the fetus body. In the fetal brain this testosterone is converted into a type of estrogen which masculinizes the male brain. The hormonal washed must be very precisely timed for this process to be successful.

How does the brain develop in a normal female fetus?

All female fetuses start out as female embryos. The ‘XX’ chromosomes order no hormonal wash to occur. The fetus, not touched by testosterone, remains female, both in body and brain.

Transsexual Brain Development

How does the MtF Transsexual?

Like the normal male embryo, the male to female Transsexual brain starts out female. Then between the 8th and 24th weeks, the ‘XY’ chromosomes introduce testosterone hormonal changes, but the hormonal washes as faulty. They are either insufficient or ill timed. When this happens, the fetus develops a male body. However, some of the default (original) female brain processes remain intact. Thus, the brain’s gender identity remain intact. Thus, the brains gender identity remains female. This means that Transsexual males whose process of brain masculinization was incomplete, Their default female brains still function. The degree of arrested development can vary. The original brain circuitry that was missed in the masculinizing process provides a continuing feminine influence. This explains why many Transsexuals, biological males know, from as early as 3 years old, that they are actually members of the opposite sex.

How does the FtM Transsexual brain develop?

Like the normal female embryo, the female to male Transsexual fetus starts out as a normal female. Then a problem occurs somewhere between the 8th and 24th week. Even though the ‘XX’ chromosomes have ordered no hormonal washes to take place, testosterone is still introduced. For example: An errant fetal adrenal glad causes testosterone to be produced in great quantities. The fetus is washed with testosterone, against chromosomal orders. The fetal body remains female. However, if the errant wash is strong enough, the female fetus brain is re-wired to think as male. This explains why many Transsexuals, biological males know, from as early as 3 years old, that they are actually members of the opposite sex.

What is the job of the ‘XX’ and ‘XY’ chromosomes?

It seems that one of the jobs of the ‘XX’ and ‘XY’ chromosomes is to govern the introduction of testosterone into the womb. However, chromosomal influence is limited by the many glitches that can happen during the fetal growth process. This is why each human being possesses a unique mixture of male and female traits. Some of these mixes  make the individuals who have them significantly different from society’s expectations. This causes these people much confusion and suffering. Indeed, there are, in our world, many males who have ‘XX’ chromosomes and many females who have ‘XY’ chromosomes.

Being Transsexual is not a choice

What can be known about Transsexuals?

Transsexualss do not rise from being exposed in childhood to the clothes, toys, activities, and goals of the opposite sex. Nor are Transsexuals; sex addicts, morally corrupt or mentally ill. Transsexuals are simply people who have the body of one sex and the brain wiring of the opposite sex.
Lorri Kat
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