Psychological androgyny has long been associated with greater cognitive flexibility, adaptive behavior, and better mental health, but whether a similar concept can be defined using neural features remains unknown. Using the neuroimaging data from participants, we found that global functional connectivity was stronger in the male brain before middle age but became weaker after that, when compared with the female brain, after systematic testing of potentially confounding effects. We defined a brain gender continuum by estimating the likelihood of an observed functional connectivity matrix to represent a male brain. We found that participants mapped at the center of this continuum had fewer internalizing symptoms compared with those at the 2 extreme ends. These findings suggest a novel hypothesis proposing that there exists a neuroimaging concept of androgyny using the brain gender continuum, which may be associated with better mental health in a similar way to psychological androgyny.
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Metrics details. A majority of women with polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS have metabolic dysfunction that results in an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. We previously developed a pubertal mouse model using the aromatase inhibitor, letrozole, which recapitulates many of the reproductive and metabolic features of PCOS. To further our understanding of the effects of androgen excess, we compared the effects of letrozole treatment initiated in puberty versus adulthood on reproductive and metabolic phenotypes as well as on the gut microbiome. Letrozole treatment of both pubertal and adult female mice resulted in reproductive hallmarks of PCOS, including hyperandrogenemia, anovulation and polycystic ovaries.