Illustration for article titled New study: Striking brain differences explain some gender stereotypes

A new research paper published today in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that men and women's brains connectivity is very different which, according to the authors, gives a "potential neural basis as to why men excel at certain tasks and women at others," matching some commonly-held stereotypes.


The study—one the largest of its kind with 949 individuals aged 8 to 22—used an imaging technique that can "trace and highlight the fiber pathways connecting the different regions of the brain, laying the foundation for a structural connectome or network of the whole brain."

Using the data captured, Dr. Ragini Verma and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine's radiology department found that men have a denser neuronal connectivity between the front and the back of the brain, while women have a greater connectivity between right and left hemispheres. The differences accentuated with age: they were less under 13 and increased as the test subjects got older.


According to their conclusions, this denser connectivity explains why males are better at coordinating their perceptions with their actions, while women are better at connecting their analytical and intuition functions:

On average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped for multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group. They have a mentalistic approach, so to speak.

In other words: women are great at leadership and finding solutions for humanity while men are grunts good at learning single tasks fast. Which actually makes a lot of sense and explains the state of things in the world.

According to one of the co-authors, Dr. Ruben Gur, "it's quite striking how complementary the brains of women and men really are. Detailed connectome 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 neuropsychiatric disorders, which are often sex related."


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