Share via Email A man and woman doing completely different things, as their brains dictate. The study itself has been taken apart by the neuroscience community like a juicy lamb shank thrown to a tank of rarely-fed piranhas. No, there is a lot of data already out there on the subject of male and female brains. However, the media coverage this study received implies that there is a great deal of public interest in knowing about the real differences between the brains of men and women.
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Documented sex differences in brain structure are typically taken to support this dimorphic view of the brain. However, neuroanatomical data reveal that sex interacts with other factors in utero and throughout life to determine the structure of the brain, and that because these interactions are complex, the result is a multi-morphic, rather than a dimorphic, brain.
The underlying assumption in these publications, as well as in scientific papers on sex differences in the brain e.
Sex differences in brain structure are indeed well documented. There are sex differences in the size of the brain and of specific brain regions, and in composition of neurons, neurotransmitter content, morphology of dendrites, number of receptors, etc. Yet, the idea that sex differences in the brain lead to sex differences in behavior and cognition has been challenged by several authors on various grounds, including lack of consistency in the literature on sex differences in brain structure; the difficulty to find a simple relation between a sex difference in brain structure and a sex difference in function; demonstrations that some sex differences in brain structure serve to prevent, rather than cause, sex differences in behavior and cognition; and the possibility that sex differences in the adult brain may be the result of sex differences in life experience e.
There are only a few brain characteristics for which the term sexually dimorphic, which literally means having two forms, is appropriate, that is, for which there is minimal or no overlap between the form of this characteristic in males and females e.
For most documented sex differences in the brain, however, and in particular in regions involved in behavior, emotion, and cognition, there is a considerable overlap between the distributions of the two sexes Juraska, ; McCarthy and Konkle, ; Cosgrove et al.
Specifically, prenatal and postnatal manipulations e. For example, Shors et al.In this model, while the gonadal hormonal actions in producing sex differences in the brain cannot be completely ruled out (both sides of the neural song system were larger than that of normal females), their influences cannot fully explain the differences observed between the left and right sides of the brain.
The underlying assumption in popular and scientific publications on sex differences in the brain is that human brains can take one of two forms “male” or “female,” and that the differences between these two forms underlie differences between men and women in personality, cognition, emotion, and behavior.
For centuries, people have clung to the belief that there's something inherently different between the male brain and the female brain.
But in a new study, scientists combed through the brain. But even if the physical brain doesn't change, how it works can. Most Brains Are Both. A study at Tel Aviv University used an interesting and very thorough approach to compare the structure of male and female brains.
Researchers looked at MRI scans of more than 1, people.
Brain differences between the sexes can also arise from diverse factors, including the expression of genes carried on the sex chromosomes and discrepancies in maternal treatment of male and female .
Brain-imaging studies indicate that these differences extend well beyond the strictly reproductive domain, Cahill says. Adjusted for total brain size (men’s are bigger), a woman’s hippocampus, critical to learning and memorization, is larger than a man’s and works differently.