It is certainly not uncommon knowledge that men and women think differently – In general terms men tend to have better spacial awareness and motor skills whilst women tend to be better multi-taskers and have better memory retention.
Recent revolutions in neurology have meant that it is now possible to perform scans of a living human brain. This has allowed scientist Ragini Verma and her team at the University of Pennsylvania to begin mapping out exactly how the brain is connected together in neurological terms.
The picture above shows the results of their study – the lines and dots showing the fibres that connect different parts of the brain. (please note these are the average connection trends from a study of approx 1000 people) Men are shown on the left and women on the right. The distinct differences could be an explanation for the differences mentioned above. The brain is split into two sections – The Cerebrum at the front which does the thinking and the cerebellum at the back which does the actions. Each section is also then split between the left and right hemispheres. The left picture shows that for men the main fibre connections are concentrated within the hemispheres whereas with women the majority of fibre connections are across the hemispheres.
Ragini believes this explains the differences in how men and women think. It is thought that the left side of the cerebrum deals with logic and the left with intuition, so looking at the picture above could explain why women are more socially aware and better multitaskers. These activities benefit from both hemispheres working in conjunction with each other and thus the cross-linking in the female brain aides this interaction. On the flip side the strong connections within the hemispheres in men let them concentrate on things that do not require input from both sides of the brain.
While Ragini’s research is certainly intriguing is does highlight how little we still know about the brain, so we can only hope that the research leads to bigger and better discoveries.
Brains Of Men And Women ‘Wired Differently’ (news.sky.com)