Raven’s Matrices test (RMT) is a non-verbal test designed to assess individuals’ ability to reason and solve new problems without relying extensively on declarative knowledge derived from schooling or previous experience. Despite a large number of behavioral studies that demonstrated gender differences in Raven’s Matrices reasoning ability, no neural evidence supported this difference. In this study, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) was used in an attempt to uncover the gender-specific neural basis of Raven’s Matrices reasoning ability as measured by the combined Raven’s Matrices test (CRT) in 370 healthy young adults. The behavioral results showed no difference between males and females. However, the VBM results showed that the relationship between reasoning ability and regional gray matter volume (rGMV) differed between sexes. The association between CRT scores and rGMV in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (associated with visuospatial ability) was significantly greater in males than in females, whereas the reverse was true for the inferior frontal cortex (relating to verbal reasoning ability) and the medial frontal cortex (engaged in information binding) where the association was greater in females. These findings suggest that males and females use differently structured brains in different ways to achieve similar levels of overall Raven’s Matrices reasoning ability.
- Cortical Regions
- Raven's Matrices Reasoning Capacity
- Voxel-Based Morphometry Study