The male brain is more attuned to perception and coordinated actions, while the female brain is more attuned to social skills and memorization.
Scientists have scanned the brains of nearly 1,000 people to reaffirm what many have known for a long time: there are clear differences in the structure of the male and female brains.
Neural circuit maps showed that, in general, in the female brain, many connections connect the right and left hemispheres of the brain, while in the male brain, the strongest connections are observed between the front and back regions of the brain.
According to Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, the biggest surprise was that the scientists' findings once again confirmed the existing stereotypes that the male brain is more attuned to perception and coordinated action, while the female brain is more attuned to social skills. and memorization, which makes women better at multiple tasks at the same time.
“According to functional studies, the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for logical thinking, and the right hemisphere is responsible for intuitive thinking. Therefore, if a task involves the use of both types of thinking, women are likely to cope better with it due to the characteristics of their brains, says Verma. - Women have better developed intuitive thinking. Women are better at remembering information. In conversation, women show more emotional involvement than men - they listen more attentively."
She added: “I was surprised that our conclusions largely coincided with the stereotypes that exist in our minds. If I want to contact a hairdresser or a chef, it will most likely be men."
These findings were made in one of the largest studies aimed at studying neural connections in the brains of healthy men and women. Neural wiring maps allow scientists to gain a more complete picture of what is considered normal for both sexes at different ages. Using these maps, they hope to find out whether abnormalities in interneuronal connections are associated with the development of brain disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.
A team of scientists led by Verma used a technique called diffusion tensor imaging to trace the neural connections in the brains of 428 men and 521 women between the ages of 8 and 22. Neural connections are very similar to the road system along which neurons move in the brain.
Scans showed a greater number of connections between the left and right hemispheres in women, while in men, the largest number of neural connections is usually observed within the hemispheres. The only area where men had more connections between the right and left hemispheres is the cerebellum, which plays an important role in controlling movement. “If you want to learn to ski, you have to have a developed cerebellum,” says Verma. The results of this study were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
According to the researchers, the difference between the brains of men and women is not very significant until age 13, but it becomes more pronounced between 14 and 17 years.
“It's amazing how much male and female brains complement each other,” said Ruben Gur, co-author of the study, in a statement. "Detailed maps of connectomes will help us not only better understand the differences in thinking between men and women, but also provide an opportunity to study the roots of neurological disorders inherent in one or another sex."