They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but now scientists have confirmed that the genders do indeed have fundamental differences in the way we think and use our brains.
And one of us is using their brain a lot more than the other.
The new study, which was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, is the largest of its kind and conclusively proved that women have more active brains than men (tell us something we don’t know).
The team wanted to understand differences in the brain because disorders of the grey matter affect men and women differently; for example, women have higher rates of Alzheimer’s, depression and anxiety.
While men have higher rates of ADHD, conduct-related problems and are 1400% more likely to be incarcerated.
Comparing over 46,034 brain scans, that were measuring the blood flow in the brain, the team found women’s brains were significantly more active in many more areas.
Including the pre-frontal cortex involved with focus and impulse control, and the limbic or emotional areas of the brain, which may help to explain the increased rates of mood disorders and anxiety.
While the visual and coordination centres of the brain were more active in men.
The findings of increased prefrontal cortex blood flow in women compared to men also may explain why women tend to exhibit greater strengths in the areas of empathy, intuition, collaboration, self-control, and appropriate concern.
Daniel G. Amen, who worked on the study, said: “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.”
A total of 119 healthy volunteers and 26,683 patients with a variety of psychiatric conditions (such as brain trauma, bipolar, mood disorders, schizophrenia and ADHD) took part in the study.
Amen believes that the technology used in this trial will be useful for developing drug treatments in the future.
“Using functional neuroimaging tools, such as SPECT, are essential to developing precision medicine brain treatments in the future,” he said.