Publications by authors named "Alberto Frigerio"

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Structural, Functional, and Metabolic Brain Differences as a Function of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation: A Systematic Review of the Human Neuroimaging Literature.

Arch Sex Behav 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Division of Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH16 4SB, UK.

This review systematically explored structural, functional, and metabolic features of the cisgender brain compared with the transgender brain before hormonal treatment and the heterosexual brain compared to the homosexual brain from the analysis of the neuroimaging literature up to 2018, and identified and discussed subsequent studies published up to March 2021. Our main aim was to help identifying neuroradiological brain features that have been related to human sexuality to contribute to the understanding of the biological elements involved in gender identity and sexual orientation. We analyzed 39 studies on gender identity and 24 on sexual orientation. Our results suggest that some neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, and neurometabolic features in transgender individuals resemble those of their experienced gender despite the majority resembling those from their natal sex. In homosexual individuals the majority resemble those of their same-sex heterosexual population rather than their opposite-sex heterosexual population. However, it is always difficult to interpret findings with noninvasive neuroimaging. Given the gross nature of these measures, it is possible that more differences too subtle to measure with available tools yet contributing to gender identity and sexual orientation could be found. Conflicting results contributed to the difficulty of identifying specific brain features which consistently differ between cisgender and transgender or between heterosexual and homosexual groups. The small number of studies, the small-to-moderate sample size of each study, and the heterogeneity of the investigations made it impossible to meta-analyze all the data extracted. Further studies are necessary to increase the understanding of the neurological substrates of human sexuality.
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May 2021