Wiring of brain is reason men and women behave differently
Study finds 'hard wiring' of male and female brains is different and could explain gender characteristics
IT REMAINS to be seen if men really are from Mars and women come from Venus. But a pioneering study has confirmed that the male and female brains are wired up differently, which could explain "some of the stereotypical differences in male and female behaviour", The Independent says.
Psychological tests have consistently shown that men are generally better at spatial tasks involving muscle control while women are better at verbal tasks involving memory and intuition, the paper says. Research carried out at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, suggests the differences may be due to the way our brains are wired.
Tests carried out on 949 people - 521 females and 428 males - found that many of the connections in a typical male brain run between the front and back of the same side of the brain. In women, the connections typically run from side to side between the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
The researchers say these wiring patterns become fixed during adolescence when many of the secondary sexual characteristics such as facial hair in men and breasts in women develop under the influence of sex hormones.
Ragini Verma, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, tells the Independent that the research might help explain why men and women excel at different cognitive tests. In women, the linking of the left hemisphere, which is associated with logical thinking, with the right, which is linked with intuition, "could help to explain why women tend to do better than men at intuitive tasks", says Verma.
She adds: "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."
The wiring of men's brains helps them excel at spatial and motor skills. It seems the old clichés about map reading and parallel parking may have some basis in neuroscience.
Rubin Gur, a co-author of the study, says: "It's quite striking how complementary the brains of women and men really are. Detailed maps of the brain will not only help us better understand the differences between how men and women think, but it will also give us more insight into the roots of neurological disorders, which are often sex related." ·