Neural network of body representation differs between transsexuals and cissexuals

Chia Shu Lin, Hsiao Lun Ku, Hsiang Tai Chao, Pei Chi Tu, Cheng Ta Li, Chou Ming Cheng, Tung Ping Su, Ying Chiao Lee, Jen Chuen Hsieh

研究成果: Article同行評審

48 引文 斯高帕斯(Scopus)

摘要

Body image is the internal representation of an individual's own physical appearance. Individuals with gender identity disorder (GID), commonly referred to as transsexuals (TXs), are unable to form a satisfactory body image due to the dissonance between their biological sex and gender identity. We reasoned that changes in the resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) network would neurologically reflect such experiential incongruence in TXs. Using graph theory-based network analysis, we investigated the regional changes of the degree centrality of the rsFC network. The degree centrality is an index of the functional importance of a node in a neural network. We hypothesized that three key regions of the body representation network, i.e., the primary somatosensory cortex, the superior parietal lobule and the insula, would show a higher degree centrality in TXs. Twenty-three pre-treatment TXs (11 male-to-female and 12 female-to-male TXs) as one psychosocial group and 23 age-matched healthy cissexual control subjects (CISs, 11 males and 12 females) were recruited. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed, and binarized rsFC networks were constructed. The TXs demonstrated a significantly higher degree centrality in the bilateral superior parietal lobule and the primary somatosensory cortex. In addition, the connectivity between the right insula and the bilateral primary somatosensory cortices was negatively correlated with the selfness rating of their desired genders. These data indicate that the key components of body representation manifest in TXs as critical function hubs in the rsFC network. The negative association may imply a coping mechanism that dissociates bodily emotion from body image. The changes in the functional connectome may serve as representational markers for the dysphoric bodily self of TXs.

原文English
文章編號e85914
期刊PLoS ONE
9
發行號1
DOIs
出版狀態Published - 20 1月 2014

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