Battle of the Sexes

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.

Human Brain

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.

Related Articles:

Sex and brains: Vive la différence! | The Economist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain

Brains Of Men And Women ‘Wired Differently’ (news.sky.com)

Brain wiring in men, women could explain gender differences (cbsnews.com)

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Posted in Technology
3 comments on “Battle of the Sexes
  1. AirportsMadeSimple says:

    Hmmmm…This is very interesting, and yes, the brain continues to amaze us. The questions are so many, I don’t know where to begin. How do we explain women who think like men and men who think like women? I’m sure this study was done with an “average” group of people – yet – I’m not sure what “average” means, do you? Meaning, what criteria were used to determine a group of “average” people. Interesting, nevertheless. Good post.

    • lucasgoon says:

      Thanks for the reply – just regarding the “average” part that was more just referring to the averaged results for the study – I would assume that when they were conducting the study they ensured that they had a diverse spread of people to ensure that the results would provide a good sample group – though a sample of only 1,000 compared against the 7,000,000,000 people on this planet is certainly not sufficient for proving any thesis beyond doubt, it is a good starting point and I will be watching to see where the study takes them next.

      • AirportsMadeSimple says:

        Yes, agreed. I kid around a lot, too, so I was kind of kidding with you. In all seriousness, it is very interesting info. Cheers! D

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