Patricia Cowell, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Human Communication Sciences.
A substantial literature documents behavioural and neurobiological differences between males and females. This literature encompasses many species, including humans. It is built with evidence from reproductive and non-reproductive domains, from early developmental organisation throughout the adult life span. This talk will focus on a set of tasks related to human communication using behavioural techniques that tap the underlying neuropsychological organisation of speech. Data will be presented from a series of studies looking at sex differences and menstrual cycle effects on speech perception and other aspects of verbal ability. Alongside this traditionally formatted scientific content, some of the medical and social issues that have shaped the field of bio-behavioural sex differences will be addressed. The talk will conclude with thoughts and questions about the future of research into neurocognitive sex differences and hormone effects in term of its scientific potential and biomedical impact.