STATES CHRONICLE – Scientists have proved that traumatic stress has different effects on boys’ brain compared to girls’ brain. The researchers who conducted the study have revealed that they registered different reactions in girls and boys’ brains. Boys who experienced traumatic stress had a much wider anterior circular sulcus area than those boys who never expressed traumatic symptoms.
Girls who had suffered traumatic events had a smaller anterior circular sulcus compared to the girls who did not go to a traumatic process. Specialists argued that this particular area of the brain is responsible for empathy and emotional awareness. Megan Klabunde, who is a psychologist and neuroscience researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine, but also the lead author of the study, has argued that girls and boys were situated at different ends when analyzing this problem.
Experts have drawn a comparison between the size of this area in the brain of girls from the control group and the one in the brain of the boys who were part of the same group. The result proved that the size of this particular area was similar to both boys and girls. Thus, scientists have concluded that traumatic stress can have an impact on the development of the brain, being different for boys and girls.
When conducting the study, researchers have examined the brains of approximately 59 children with ages between 9 and 17 years old. They have used a structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) to scan their brains. The control group consisted of 29 children, and there was a different group made up of children who already expressed traumatic symptoms, the figures indicating 30 children. The children who were part of the second group had gone through a traumatic event six months before the study started. They were suffering from mood changes, but they were also mentally re-living their tragedies.
Researchers analyzed the anterior circular sulcus located in a brain area known as the insula. However, Klabunde has claimed that this part of the brain is communicating with other area involved in emotional processes. Other studies from the past have revealed that 8% of the girls and 2% of the boys are bound to develop a traumatic stress disorder sometime in their lives. An important remark here is that the researchers did not provide an accurate analysis of the events, considering factors like the age when the trauma happened or how much time has passed since the event.
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