A team of scientists which conducted the largest yet brain imaging survey found that women seem to have more active brains when compared to those of men.
The research is based on a type of 3D gamma ray imaging named SPECT or the Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography. This can measure the blood flow through the brain and help identify regions of increased neurological activity.
Women Have More Active Brains, but in Different Areas
Conducted by researchers at the Amen Clinics in California, this biggest yet brain imaging survey included the participation of 46,034 people. Almost 27,000 of them were known to have psychiatric conditions. According to the study lead, Daniel Amen, this research could come to help understand gender-based brain differences.
“The quantifiable differences we identified between men and women are important for understanding gender-based risk for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease,” added Amen.
The study results showed that women have more active brains when compared to men. They also revealed which specific regions were the most active for either gender.
For example, the female brain appears to be especially active in the limbic system and prefrontal cortex. This latter is responsible for the impulse and focus control. The limbic system is in charge of controlling behavior, emotions, and motivation.
This might explain why women are commonly considered as being more intuitive and empathetic.
The brains of men were more active in the regions linked to coordination and vision, according to the study team.
Scientists are as yet still uncertain what these higher levels of cerebral activity may point to, on the long term. For example, some claim that this does not necessarily mean that females use more of their brains.
Others explain that the results of having a higher activity also depends on the areas which returned these results.
Still, the research team considers that studying the gender based variations in the brain might help explain why some conditions, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, are more common among women than men. Males, in contrast, are reportedly at a higher risk of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.
Study findings are available in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
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