February 18, 2014

Science vs feelings

After a meta analysis of 23 years of research, scientists from Cambridge University confirm that men's and woman's brains
develop differently

Scientists have found that men’s brains are bigger overall than women’s - by up to 13 per cent. But some individual parts of the female brain are denser.  Amber Ruigrok, a Phd student who worked on the study, said: “For the first time we can look across the vast literature and confirm that brain size and structure are different in males and females.
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Prof John Suckling, who led the research, said: “The sex differences in the limbic system include areas often implicated in psychiatric conditions with biased sex ratios such as autism, schizophrenia, and depression.” “This new study may therefore help us understand not just typical sex differences but also sex-linked psychiatric conditions.

Of course, everyone knows men and woman are different in their biology and that biology extends to the brain. Similar studies confirming the difference between men and women make the headlines every few months like this one from December, 2013, Why Men’s and Women’s Brains Work Differently: It’s All About the Wiring

The latest imaging data reveals gender-based differences in the way brain networks are connected. …..

That pattern, which remained throughout adulthood, showed that the women’s brains were wired to better integrate emotion and reason— while the  men’s brains had stronger links between coordinated action and perception. For men, that translated into brains more highly connected from front to back, so perceptual and action-focused areas enjoyed stronger networks, while women’s brains had more left to right wiring. That matchup strengthened the connections between intuitive and emotional regions with those involved in rationality and planning.

But I'll leave it to How Stuff Works to explain simply what we've learned about the differences between men and women's brains.

So when I saw the headline that Facebook now offers you fifty different genders to choose from to describe yourself, I could only laugh at the absurdity of it all.  It's not based on science, but feelings, about making people feel good about themselves.  That's what Facebook is all about.

Posted by Jill Fallon at February 18, 2014 4:48 PM | Permalink