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It's a unisex brain with specific signals that trigger 'male' behavior
Date:4/30/2008

that the brains not only look similar but are functionally similar. The females have all the equipment to sing, but normally dont use it because their song circuit doesnt get the appropriate activating signals.

Asked about the relevance of this study to humans, Clyne said, You have to be careful about how much you can extrapolate from studying flies. But, the basic principle should hold up that is, the idea that we dont need big sex-differences in the brain to explain why it seems that men are from Mars and women from Venus.

The authors next goal is finding the controls that set the flies brains to the male or female mode. They hope that by studying examples like sex-specific behaviors, they can clarify the still poorly understood relationships between genes, which are the targets of natural selection, and behavior, which is the product of evolution. Ultimately, this line of research could also shed light on how genes underlie behavioral variation and perhaps even specific mental illnesses.


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Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

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