A pioneering study has shown for the first time that the brains of men and women are wired up differently which could explain some of the stereotypical differences in male and female behavior, scientists have said.
The researchers believe the physical differences between the two sexes in the way the brain is hardwired could play an important role in understanding why men are in general better at spatial tasks involving muscle control while women are better at verbal tasks involving memory and intuition.
Psychological testing has consistently indicated a significant difference between the sexes in the ability to perform various mental tasks, with men outperforming women in some tests and women outperforming men in others. Now there seems to be a physical explanation, scientists said.
“These maps show us a stark difference – and complementarity – in the architecture of the human brain that helps to provide a potential neural basis as to why men excel at certain tasks, and women at others,” said Ragini Verma, professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
“In women most of the connections go between left and right across the two hemispheres while in men most of the connections go between the front and the back of the brain,” she said.
Because the female connections link the left hemisphere, which is associated with logical thinking, with the right, which is linked with intuition, this could help to explain why women tend to do better than men at intuitive tasks, she added.
“Intuition is thinking without thinking. It’s what people call gut feelings. Women tend to be better than men at these kinds of skill which are linked with being good mothers,” Professor Verma said.
The only part of the brain where right-left connectivity was greater in men than in women was in the cerebellum, an evolutionary ancient part of the brain that is linked with motor control.
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