Saturday, September 20, 2014

Quick Round-Up

As The Ancient hinted in the comments, September 19th was International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day.   FLG knew, but didn't get around to posting.  He thinks this might be the second year in a row, which is makes FLG sad.

On an completely unrelated note, apparently, the gray matter volume of a region in the right posterior parietal cortex is positively correlated with risk seeking.  FLG was then curious whether males this varies by sex, as this could explain why women are more risk averse than men.  Upon googling sex variations in the right posterior parietal cortex, he found this article, which reads like a bunch of gobbledygook and FLG isn't even sure he understands because he lacks sufficient knowledge of brain biology and isn't interested enough to learn it, but the last paragraph says:
in an MRI study of cortical volumes Kennedy et al. found normal sex differences in the parietal lobe, but although left and right hemispheric measurements were obtained, the authors did not specifically examine sex-by-hemisphere interactions (Kennedy et al., 1998). As sex-based asymmetries in the IPL have not previously been examined, we thus made the following hypotheses: (i) males have greater total IPL volumes compared to women, (ii) males have larger left versus right IPL volumes and (iii) males have larger left IPL volumes compared to women.

This is contrary to what FLG would have assumed.  If more gray matter in the right posterior parietal cortex is correlated with risk seeking, then presumably smaller volumes would be associated with risk aversion.  Yet, males, who are more risk seeking, have larger left relatively to right hemispheres.   Then again, the other article was just comparing gray matter volume of a particular region in the right posterior parietal cortex with the volumes across subjects in some absolute sense, not relative to the right.  So, the risk seeking behavior could be explained by the greater total volumes men have compared to women.   OR these studies could be talking about completely different parts of the brain entirely.  FLG, quite frankly, isn't very clear.

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