Brains Wired Differently in Women and Men, Study Shows

Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 02:39 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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There's a simple explanation as to why women tend to be better multitaskers and men better map-readers — their brains are wired differently.

A new study by the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine analyzed research gathered from nearly 1,000 adolescent brain scans and determined that, in general, males had more connections within hemispheres while females had more connections between hemispheres.

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"On average, men connect front to back [parts of the brain] more strongly than women," whereas "women have stronger connections left to right," study leader Ragini Verma, an associate professor of radiology at UPenn, told LiveScience.

Because of the way these connections work, male brains tend to be better suited for motor skills while females' are better at combining intuitive and analytical thinking.

The study, published this week in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences journal, involved using diffusion tension imaging — a technique that pumps water molecules into brain tissue — to map out the fiber pathways in the brain.

"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 neurological disorders, which are often sex related," Ruben Gur, one of the study authors, told the New York Daily News.

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