Morphometrical Brain Markers of Sex Difference

Daniel Brennan, Tingting Wu, Jin Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Many major neuropsychiatric pathologies, some of which appear in adolescence, show differentiated prevalence, onset, and symptomatology across the biological sexes. Therefore, mapping differences in brain structure between males and females during this critical developmental period may provide information about the neural mechanisms underlying the dimorphism of these pathologies. Utilizing a large dataset collected through the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study, we investigated the differences of adolescent (9-10 years old) male and female brains (n = 8325) by using a linear Support-Vector Machine Classifier to predict sex based on morphometry and image intensity values of structural brain imaging data. The classifier correctly classified the sex of 86% individuals with the insula, the precentral and postcentral gyri, and the pericallosal sulcus as the most discernable features. These results demonstrate the existence of complex, yet robustly measurable morphometrical brain markers of sex difference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3641-3649
Number of pages9
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • ABCD
  • brain morphology
  • machine learning
  • sex dimorphism


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