University Of Tasmania
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Sex differences in the attentional networks: ERP components and behavioural indices

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posted on 2023-05-27, 10:06 authored by Hoysted, IHT
Sex differences associated with attentional processes have been evidenced in the academic literature, however, the research is limited. The current study aimed to clarify the inconsistencies regarding sex differences in attentional processes examining behavioural performance (RT) and neuronal indices of attentional networks using event related potentials (ERPs). The participants, 13 females and 15 males (mean age of 22.1 years) completed an attentional network task (ANT) to examine sex differences in the alerting, orienting and executive control networks (P1, N1 and N2 ERP components). The ANT involved an alerting condition followed by a cueing condition which included a valid, invalid and no cue trial. The cue either correctly or incorrectly indicated the spatial location of a following target that was either congruent or incongruent. Males had a trend for faster RT for no cue and invalid trials as well as greater N1 amplitudes, indicating an overall orienting effect. Sex differences in the P1 and N2 ERP components, while preliminary, suggest that there may be sex differences associated with the electrophysiological activity of the attentional networks. Importantly, sex differences in the interaction between the three networks warrants further research and may help to explain the findings of the current study.


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