Adding One more Critique to the Ingalhalikar et al. 2013 Controversy

Here is a critique of Ingalhalikar et al.’s study I should have linked to almost a year ago: Daphna Joel and Ricardo Tarrasch‘s “On the Mis-Presentation and Misinterpretation of Gender-Related Data: The Case of Ingalhalikar’s Human Connectome Study.” Anelis Kaiser just drew my attention to it. Check out their remarks on presentation of data and statistics in this very short and crisp letter.

Size Matters—the Story Won’t End

Out of loyalty, I won’t share much of the email exchanges I’ve witnessed over the course of the past two days—both amongst neuroscientists and amongst the “queer folks.” But here’s what happened: Ingalhalikar et al. published an article in late 2013 revealing the allegedly true cause for the cognitive, behavioral, and emotional differences between men and women. At least, that’s how the popular press translated the reported results of sex differences in structural brain connections between female and male brains. I reviewed the study and many voices have been much more critical than mine.

In the meantime, Jürgen Hänggi et al. have published a paper suggesting that the above-mentioned structural brain connections correlate with brain size. This bolsters Neuroskeptic’s and others’ assumption that the measured effects in Ingalhalikar et al. 2013 are themselves a consequence of the bigger average brain size in men, and not any direct cause of stereotypical behavior. Continue reading

“A Critical Moment”: Sex/Gender and Brain Science Conference @ UCLA, 10/23–24

Here is a conference announcement I should have shared with you months ago: the Foundation for Psychocultural Research at the University of Californa in Los Angeles (FPR-UCLA) is hosting a conference titled “A Critical Moment: Sex/Gender Research at the Intersection of Culture, Brain, & Behavior” this October, Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th.

Here is the announcement: Continue reading

A More Pungent Review of Ingalhalikar et al. 2014

Cordelia Fine, one of those people whose books1 you love even more after you’ve met them in person, recently contributed to two blog posts: to the Neuroskeptic‘s for PLOS and to Uta‘s for Social Minds. You don’t even have to read very closely in order to realize that she discusses the same study in both interviews: Ingalhalikar et al. 2014, carried out at Penn and reviewed by myself for credit in my neuroscience class recently. Read the three pieces and let’s talk about audience-targeted writing afterwards. (And if you want to know why many more books like Cordelia Fine’s are wanting, read the comments to Neuroskeptic’s piece on the bottom of the page.)

  1. By the way, I got my mother the German translation of Delusions of Gender for her birthday last year. []

Review: Ingalhalikar et al. 2014

As part of the requirements for one of the psychology classes I’m taking in the context of the SCAN certificate program, I had to review a neuroscientific journal article. Martha Farah herself suggested I review Ingalhalikar et al.’s famous connectome study. Recently (almost a year ago …), this study led to many headlines suggesting that men’s and women’s brains are “wired differently.” My 2,000-word review is geared towards a neuroscientific audience. I am providing the final two paragraphs below, and you can download the entire .pdf here. Continue reading

What Kind of Sex Do We Need in Neuroimaging?

(”Like Dancers in a Line” by Viewminder, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Four members of the NeuroGenderings network, Gina Rippon, Rebecca Jordan-Young, Anelis Kaiser, and Cordelia Fine, recently published a fabulous piece on “Recommendations for Sex/Gender Neuroimaging Research: Key Principles and Implications for Research Design, Analysis, and Interpretation” in Frontiers of Human Neuroscience.

Continue reading

Publication: Sex and Gender in F.J. Gall’s Organology

It took quite some time, but my article “Matters of Sex and Gender in F. J. Gall’s Organology: A Primary Approach” was finally published online in the Journal of the History of the Neurosciences. If your institution does not have a subscription to the Journal, simply email me, and I will give you access to one of 50 remaining free eprints.

Here is the abstract: Continue reading

SOS: Help with Digital Humanities Project Needed

"Weltmeisterschaft 2014" by Jürgen Lousberg (CC BY-ND 2.0)

“Weltmeisterschaft 2014” by Jürgen Lousberg (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The World Cup is over, Germany gets the fourth star, and I get back to work.

My investigation into the extent to which cerebral plasticity researchers and brain sex/gender difference researchers talked to each other over the course of the 20th century is a bit challenging. I’ve been reading and thinking and emailing people and writing and thinking and reading and attending a Digital Humanities (DH) conference—and suddenly I realized that what I’m doing here is totally a DH project. More importantly, it’s one I need help with. Continue reading

Help Needed for Survey of (Natural/Medical/Social) Scientists

Today I want to ask you to contribute your perspective on sex/gender and other types of classification of human subjects in your research on behalf of my Berlinian colleague Diana Schellenberg (psychologist). Please find her call for participants for her study below. (And PLEASE take the time to support her research, since it’s very important from a meta-science point of view; besides that, she asked me to post this announcement on my weblog, so it’s also about my being able to motivate readers to participate—reimbursement with chocolate and gratitude is guaranteed if you let me know that you completed the survey.) Continue reading

Don’t Freak out about the Weird Header …

… I’m doing enough of that already!1 Only a few more days of maintenance at, and we’ll hopefully have the neuroscience-y header back:

cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-Header1.pngBut let’s distract ourselves with research content and let me introduce my current summer project to you: Continue reading

  1. Congratulations to you if you’re reading this in your RSS inbox and don’t know what I’m writing about. []