How are male and female brains different?

How are male and female brains different? is a Research Project for the Brain and Gender Research Group, under the Centre for Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Project Leader

lab-picMale and female brains differ in anatomy, chemistry and behaviour. The prevailing dogma that oestrogen is the key factor involved in brain sex differentiation was challenged by the group’s discovery of a direct role in the brain for the Y chromosome gene, SRY in the control of voluntary movement, only in males. This project seeks to identify the target genes that the SRY transcription factor controls in the brain.

Approaches include cell and molecular biology techniques (RNA seq, ChIPseq) and rodent dissection of the substantia nigra.

Selected publications

  • Lee, J. and Harley, V. (2012) The male fight-flight response: A result of SRY regulation of   catecholamines? Bioessays. 34(6): 545-7

  • Dewing, P., Chiang, C.W.K., Sinchak, K., Sim, H., Fernagut, P.-O., Kelly, S., Chesselet, M.-F., Micevych, P.E., Albrecht, K.H., Harley, V.R. and Vilain, E. (2006) Direct regulation of adult brain function by the male-specific factor SRY. Current Biology 16: 415-420