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Dissertation

Gender Differences in Neuropsychological Performance Following Stroke

15 December 2006

Abstract

The present study compared the performance of 141 males and 94 females with lateralized brain damage, consistent etiology of brain injury (stroke) and consistent length of time since onset of injury on individual measures of cognitive abilities across five different domains. The cognitive domains included attention and working memory, language, verbal learning and memory, visuospatial leaming and memory, and visuospatial construction. The number of subjects in each cell was greater in this study than in any of the other studies that have been reviewed here. Using two-way ANOVA analyses for 15 test variables, no significant interaction or main effects were found for gender and laterality once the Bonferroni adjustments were made to control for artificial inflation of the alpha rate. The adjusted alpha was .003. While there were no significant gender differences found among the groups in any of the five cognitive domains tested, there were some marginal findings for laterality effects. The neuropsychological tests most sensitive for laterality included Longest Digit Span Forward (p = .092), Logical Memory I (p = .023), Logical Memory II (p = .071), Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test Copy (p = .079) and Delayed Recall (p = .043), and Block Design (p = .007). All differences were in the expected direction, with damage to the right hemisphere producing lower scores on the Rey-Oterrieth Complex Figure Test both Copy and Delayed Recall, and Block Design, and damage to the left hemisphere producing lower scores on Digit Span Forward, and Logical Memory I and II. Implications of these results are discussed .


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