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Title: Program of the 87th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists
Across taxa, sexually selected traits are more variable in the target sex than 1) the same trait in the opposite sex or 2) non-sexually selected traits, likely due to their condition-dependent expression. In humans, males show greater variability in certain cognitive abilities and brain structures that 1) may facilitate intra- or intersexual competition and 2) are greater/larger in males on average, suggesting these traits may also have been subject to sexual selection. This study investigates sex differences in brain structure variability in chimpanzees. Although male chimpanzees exhibit strong intrasexual competition, reproductive skew is reduced by female mate choice and male coercion. In vivo MRI scans were collected from 226 (135F/91M) individuals and surface areas were calculated for 25 cortical sulci. Outliers for each sex and sulcus were removed prior to analysis. We measured sex differences in variability by calculating the ratio of male-to-female standard deviations of MCMCglmm residuals, controlling for age, rearing condition, scanner type, and kinship. We tested for significant sex differences through permutation. We find that males are significantly more variable at the cingulate (ratio=1.18;p=0.043), middle-frontal (ratio=1.36;p=0.001), occipital-lateral (ratio=1.20;p=0.029), occipital- temporal-marginal (ratio=1.8;p=0.006), superior-temporal (ratio=1.36;p<0.001), subcentral-posterior (ratio=1.62;p=0.033), and superior-parietal (ratio=1.21;p=0.028) sulci. These regions are associated with social perception, face more » recognition, and motion prediction. Females are more variable at the medio-parietal-occipital sulcus (ratio=0.78;p=0.009), a region associated with planning. This is the first study to demonstrate greater male variability in brain structure in a nonhuman primate species, and suggests sexual selection may lead to greater variability in male cognition across taxa. « less
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Journal Name:
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
supplement S66
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1 to 312
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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