Lise Eliot: Sex, Brain and Culture: The Science and Pseudoscience of Gender Difference

Thursday, January 29, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Jonsson Performance Hall
Admission: Free
Season: 2014-15

Abstract of the Lecture 

As neuroscience research rapidly progresses, it is clear that males and females show certain group-level differences in brain structure, function and neurochemistry. Unclear, however, is what causes such differences, and how consistent they are across different ages and cultures. Animal and human studies indicate that prenatal testosterone biases some features of behavior, but the neural basis of behavioral sex differences is also poorly understood. Far less research has explored the impact of gender enculturation on children’s brain development, but it is likely to be substantial, given the strength of neural plasticity in early life and the potency of other cultural experience, such as language, on lifelong neurobehavioral function. In sum, this talk will use our current understanding of brain maturation and plasticity to outline a more integrative, biopsychosocial approach for understanding gender development and its neural substrate. 

Speaker’s Bio 

Lise Eliot is associate professor of neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science. A graduate of Harvard University, she received her PhD in cellular physiology and biophysics from Columbia University and did post-doctoral research at Baylor College of Medicine before turning to public education about brain and gender development. She has published over 50 works, including the books, What’s Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life and Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps - And What We Can Do About It.

The Center for Values in Medicine, Science and Technology lecture series is co-sponsored by and in partnership with the Galerstein Women’s Center, the Gender Studies Program, Rainbow Guard and Pro-choice Feminist Alliance. For details, visit 



We would like to thanks BCBS, Silver Sponsor for the Lise Elliot lecture.

For more information contact:
Magdalena Grohman
[email protected]

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