Cognitive Processing

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 63–71 | Cite as

Gender and neural substrates subserving implicit processing of death-related linguistic cues

  • Jungang Qin
  • Zhenhao Shi
  • Yina Ma
  • Shihui Han
Research Report


Our recent functional magnetic resonance imaging study revealed decreased activities in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and bilateral insula for women during the implicit processing of death-related linguistic cues. Current work tested whether aforementioned activities are common for women and men and explored potential gender differences. We scanned twenty males while they performed a color-naming task on death-related, negative-valence, and neutral-valence words. Whole-brain analysis showed increased left frontal activity and decreased activities in the ACC and bilateral insula to death-related versus negative-valence words for both men and women. However, relative to women, men showed greater increased activity in the left middle frontal cortex and decreased activity in the right cerebellum to death-related versus negative-valence words. The results suggest, while implicit processing of death-related words is characterized with weakened sense of oneself for both women and men, men may recruit stronger cognitive regulation of emotion than women.


Death Gender fMRI Emotional Stroop task Insula 



This paper was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project 30828012, 30910103901), National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program 2010CB833903, 2014CB744600), and the Starting Grant given to the first author by Xidian University.


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Experimental and Computational Social SciencesXidian UniversityXi’anPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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