Stereotypes prevail: women and men are not equal!

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First of all: I’m not saying women are less than men… or the other way around. Certainly not on International Womens Day. ūüėČ Yet as millions of people have noticed, men and women seem to be wired differently.¬†Well guess what? A recent study has shown just that!

Comparing men’s and women’s connectomes

The researchers mapped the neural connections in almost a 1,000 persons between 8 and 22 years old. This produced the connectomes (map of neural connections in the brain) showed below.

Connectome of male brain. Credit: National Academy of Sciences
Connectome of the male brain.
Credit: National Academy of Sciences

The male brain shows many connections between areas of the same hemisphere and very few between the left and right hemisphere. In contrast the cerebellum, a brain region involved with motor control, showed increased connectivity between both hemispheres.

Connectome of female brain. Credit: National Academy of Sciences
Connectome of the female brain.
Credit: National Academy of Sciences

Women, on the other hand, have a lot of neural connections between the left and right hemisphere. However, in the cerebellum women have less connections between both sides of the brain.

These findings agree with what most people seem to know. Men are ¬†better at perception and learning individual coordinated¬†¬†tasks, women at multitasking due to their brain being wired for social skills and memory. The left side of the brain mostly involved with logical thinking, while the right side “specializes” in intuitive thinking. A lot of connections between both sides ¬†naturally leads to better performance in tasks that need both of these elements.

Due to the young age of the subjects, brain development during adolescence could also be studied. This revealed that the differentiation between men and women already starts at a young age. It also revealed large differences between the adolescence and adulthood brain.

 What can we learn from this?

This research is about more than only explaining behavioural differences. These brain images can learn us more about sex-related neurological disorders.  Which could lead to a better understanding in how these disorders develop and how they can be cured.

The paper can be found here: Sex differences in the structural connectome of the human brain

2 thoughts on “Stereotypes prevail: women and men are not equal!

  1. This reminds me of the bbc comedy, “women know you limits”, its actually kinds funny. But this is interesting, so this could actually mean that men and women think differently, and this could also mean that women are better at some job and men are at some other.

    Currently there are many researches on the brain and the way medication and other rehabilitation effects the brain. For instance dementia, the memory loss disease which happens because of the way brain is restructured, there have been researches that say about techniques and medications that effect the brain, do you think this study proves that the way these medications effects men and women are different and the same method on both these genders provide different results?

    1. This doesn’t prove that gender-specific medication is possible,but it does show that future research can be worthwhile.

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