Clearly, this isn’t a surprise for most women.
But science now confirms that women’s brains are more active than men’s.
A study conducted by Amen Clinics discovered that women’s brains seem to be more active, particularly in terms of blood flow through specific regions.
Published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, in what was dubbed as biggest brain imaging survey to date, researchers compared 46,000 brain scans, spanning nine clinics, to determine the difference between male and female brains.
Researches used SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) imaging to track activity in the brain. SPECT was used to analyze and register the blood perfusion in specific parts of the brain while the participants performed a number of tasks or while they were at rest.
The images tracked a total of 128 regions and showed that women have increased blood flow in the red areas of the brain scan, while men had higher blood flow in the blue-colored parts.
But what does this mean?
Well, it explains a lot.
It sheds more light on how mental disorders affect both men and women in different ways.
The research subjects were composed of 119 healthy volunteers. The rest (26,683), suffered from a range of psychiatric issues, including mood and bipolar disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia/psychotic disorders, and brain trauma.
According to the lead author of the study, psychiatrist, and Amen founder Daniel G. Amen:
“This is a very important study 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. Using functional neuroimaging tools, such as SPECT, are essential to developing precision medicine brain treatments in the future.”
So how exactly are women’s brains different than men’s?
Women’s brains are more active when it comes to impulse control, focus, and emotional areas.
The study shows that women’s prefrontal cortex is significantly more active.
This is the part of the brain that is responsible for our focus and impulses. Which explains why women have stronger empathy, intuition, and self-control. Increased blood flow in this area also means women have a better proclivity for collaboration and showing appropriate concern.
However, activity on the limbic area of the brain is also active. This affects our emotions, moods, and anxiety. Which is probably why women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorders, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Men’s brains, on the other hand, are more active in the visual and coordination areas.
This research also shows that men’s brain activity on the blue parts of the scan is significantly higher. These parts are responsible for our coordination, visual capacity, and physical performance.
Men are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. However, they have increased chances for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
This study claims that men have a 1400% increased chances of going to prison than women. It could explain why there is a staggering difference between female and male statistics for crime or incarceration.
However, human brains are unpredictable.
This study may shed some light and explain our brain’s gender-based differences. However, it is important to note that the human brain, regardless of gender, is extremely difficult to understand.
Professor of Cognitive Imaging at Ashton University, Gina Rippon intones,
“The notion that our brains are plastic or malleable and, crucially, remain so throughout our lives is one of the key breakthroughs of the last 40 years in our understanding of the brain. Different short- and long-term experiences will change the brain’s structure.
“It has also been shown that social attitudes and expectations suh as stereotypes can change how your brain processes information.
“Supposedly brain-based differences in behavioural characteristics and cognitive skills change across time, place and culture due to the different external factors experienced, such as access to education, financial independence, even diet.”
Several factors can affect our brains to change drastically over time. After all, it is called evolution. Only time will tell if our brains will continue to exhibit such differences when it comes to gender.