Friday, May 6, 2022

Do Men Have Bigger Brains

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Differences In Male And Female Brain Structure

Men Have Bigger Brains Than Women!!

Scientists have known for a while now that men and women have slightly different brains, but they thought the changes were limited to the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls sex drive and food intake. A few scientists may have admitted that men’s brains were indeed bigger, but they would have tried to qualify this finding by telling you that it was because men were bigger. Because brain size has been linked with intelligence, it’s very tricky to go around saying that men have bigger brains. Yet men do seem to have women beat here even when accounting for height and weight differences, men have slightly bigger brains. Does this mean they’re smarter? Let’s keep going.

In 2001, researchers from Harvard found that certain parts of the brain were differently sized in males and females, which may help balance out the overall size difference. The study found that parts of the frontal lobe, responsible for problem-solving and decision-making, and the limbic cortex, responsible for regulating emotions, were larger in women . In men, the parietal cortex, which is involved in space perception, and the amygdala, which regulates sexual and social behavior, were larger .

But do we get to these IQ scores through nature or nurture? On the next page, we’ll examine whether these different brain structures are set at birth, or whether they’re shaped by the environment.

Differences In The Hypothalamus

The hypothalamus is one area of the brain with well-documenteddifferences between men and women. Two areas of the hypothalamus, thepreoptic area and the suprachiasmatic nucleus, have clear differences infemale and male brains.

Preoptic Area of the Hypothalamus: This area of thehypothalamus is involved in mating behavior.In males of several species including humans, the preoptic area is greaterin volume, in cross-sectional area and in the number of cells. In men,this area is about 2.2 times larger than in women and contains 2 timesmore cells. Apparently, the difference in this area is only apparentafter a person is 4 years old. At 4 years of age, there is a decrease inthe number of cells in this nucleus in girls. The exactfunction of this nucleus in behavior is not fully known.

Suprachiasmatic Nucleusof the Hypothalamus: This area of the hypothalamus is involved withcircadian rhythms and reproduction cycles. The only difference betweenwomen and men in this area is one of shape: in males, this nucleus isshaped like a sphere in females it is more elongated. However, thenumber of cells and volume of this nucleus are not different in men andwomen. It is possible that the shape of the suprachiasmaticnucleus influences the connections that this area makes with other areasof the brain, especially the other areas of the hypothalamus.

Differences In Total Brain Size

Almost all studies showthat at birth, a boy’s brain is bigger than a girl’s brain. At birth, theaverage brain of boys is between 12-20% larger than that of girls. Thehead circumference of boys is also larger than that of girls. However, when the size of the brain is compared to body weight at thisage, there is almost no difference between boys and girls. So, a girlbaby and a boy baby who weigh the same will have similar brain sizes.

In adults, the average brain weight in men is about 11-12% MORE thanthe average brain weight in women. Men’s heads are also about 2% biggerthan women’s. Remember though, men on average weigh more than women andthat absolute brain size may not be the bestmeasure of intelligence. Many behavioral differences have beenreported for men and women. For example, it has been said that women arebetter in certain language abilities and men are better in certain spatialabilities. Many studies have tried to find differences in the right andleft cerebral hemispheres to suggest that male and female brains aredifferent. However, few of these experiments have found meaningfuldifferences between men and women. If fact, there are manysimilarities between the cerebral hemispheres of men and women.

Brain WeightsData from Dekaban, A.S. and Sadowsky, D., Changes in brain weights during the span of human life:relation of brain weights to body heights and body weights, Ann.Neurology, 4:345-356, 1978)

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Are Male And Female Brains Biologically Different

The scientific debate around this question keeps raging, but one neuroscientist says were more alike than we think.

Pop neuroscience has long been fascinated with uncovering secret biological differences between male and female brains. The question of whether men and women have innately different brains rarely fails to get people riled up. Just last year, the Google engineer James Damore caused an uproar after publishing a manifesto detailing the various ways women were biologically different from men.

But Lise Eliot, a professor of neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School and the author of Pink Brain, Blue Brain, says that anyone who goes searching for innate differences between the sexes wont find them.

People say men are from Mars and women are from Venus, but the brain is a unisex organ, she said onstage Monday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.

Thats a bold statement, and one science is divided on. It seems to depend on what exactly is being measured. For example, a large study in the U.K. found that many regions of mens brains were larger than womens, and that women on average had thicker cerebral cortices. What does that mean for how the brain works? Unclear. Another study found that averaged across many people, sex differences in brain structure do exist, but an individual brain is likely to be just that: individual, with a mix of features, as New Scientistreported in 2015.

The Truth About Intelligence: Are Bigheads Smarter Than Pea Brains

Man but

By Linda Geddes

Image Source/Getty

Over human evolutionary history, our brain size has increased dramatically as our cognitive capabilities have grown. Even among modern humans, brain size accounts for around 10 per cent of the difference in intelligence scores between individuals. Big brains may simply have more neurons and so greater processing power, or the neurons may possess more bulky insulating white matter, allowing them to communicate faster.

Nevertheless, when it comes to brains, size isnt everything. Neanderthals had bigger brains than we do, and they are extinct, says Rex Jung at the University of New Mexico. Men also have bigger brains than women. Does that mean men are smarter than women? Certainly not.

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Classification On Each Specific Roi

TBSS could not detect any statistically significant gender-related difference in this dataset. However, using 3D PCNN, we did find gender-related differences in all ROIs in the both gray and white matters, as the classification accuracies are much higher than the chance level for all ROIs. The maps of classification accuracies for different ROIs are shown in Figure 5. The detail classification results are provided in the supplement . In the gray matter, the top 5 regions with highest classification accuracies are the left precuneus , the left postcentral gyrus , the left cingulate gyrus , the right orbital gyrus of frontal lobe and the left occipital thalamus . In the white matter, the top 5 regions with highest classification accuracies are middle cerebellum peduncle , genu of corpus callosum , the right anterior corona radiata , the right superior corona radiata , and the left anterior limb of internal capsule .

Figure 5. Maps of classification accuracies for different ROIs in the gray and white matter of the brain. Results in 246 gray matter regions of interests according to the Human Brainnetome Atlas Results in 48 white matter ROIs according to the ICBM-DTI-81 White-Matter Labels Atlas.

Sex Differences In Academics

A 2014 meta-analysis of sex differences in scholastic achievement published in the journal of Psychological Bulletin found females outperformed males in teacher-assigned school marks throughout elementary, junior/middle, high school and at both undergraduate and graduate university level. The meta-analysis, done by researchers Daniel Voyer and Susan D. Voyer from the University of New Brunswick, drew from 97 years of 502 effect sizes and 369 samples stemming from the year 1914 to 2011.

Beyond sex differences in academic ability, recent research has also been focusing on women’s underrepresentation in higher education, especially in the fields of natural science, technology, engineering and mathematics . Since 1970, female STEM representation has increased across all STEM fields. Many STEM fields are now female-majority or gender balanced . However, women remain underrepresented in physics, engineering, and computer science .

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Discriminative Power Of Brain Regions

In order to determine which brain regions may play important role in gender-related brain structural differences, we repeated the same 3D PCNN-based classification on each specific brain region. We segmented each FA image into 246 gray matter regions of interests according to the Human Brainnetome Atlas and 48 white matter ROIs according to the ICBM-DTI-81 White-Matter Labels Atlas . The classification accuracy was then obtained for each ROIs. A higher accuracy indicates a more important role of that ROI in gender-related difference. A map was then obtained based on the classification accuracies of different ROIs to show their distribution in the brain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

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Male Vs Female Brains Is There Scientific Evidence For Our Differences

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus do you recognize that quote? The title of the book written by John Gray has become one of the most cited phrases every time a woman shakes her head in disbelief trying to figure out a man and vice versa. So what does science have to say about the topic: scientifically speaking, how different are men and women from one another?

Looking at the literary status quo, the answer seems quite obvious: almost every book ever written about this topic has come to the conclusion that the differences between men and women are so astonishingly abundant, it is a wonder we can even communicate with our friends of the opposite sex. For the brave amongst us who still dare to engage in an intersexual conversation, a dictionary at hand will definitely come in handy as without it, the course of conversation might sound a lot like the debate you are struggling to have with a taxi driver in a foreign country you just landed in.

A country whose language you do not even remotely speak that is. Wildly gesticulating at one another as if the words could be danced out silently has never been a more legitimate form of communication. Havent we all been there? So lets see what science has to say about the differences between men and women. Are there actual fundamental differences in male and female brains? Or are the differences between us rather a result of social conventions?

How Gender Stereotypes Led Brain Science

Research so far has failed to challenge deep prejudice, says Gina Rippon

Several things went wrong in the early days of sex differences and brain imaging research. With respect to sex differences, there was a frustrating backward focus on historical beliefs in stereotypes . Studies were designed based on the go-to list of the robust differences between females and males, generated over the centuries, or the data were interpreted in terms of stereotypical female/male characteristics which may not have even been measured in the scanner. If a difference was found, it was much more likely to be published than a finding of no difference, and it would also breathlessly be hailed as an at last the truth moment by an enthusiastic media. Finally the evidence that women are hard-wired to be rubbish at map reading and that men cant multi-task! So the advent of brain imaging at the end of the 20th century did not do much to advance our understanding of alleged links between sex and the brain. Here in the 21st century, are we doing any better?

Seeing the life-long impressions made on our plastic brains by the experiences and attitudes they encounter makes us realise that we need to take a really close look at what is going on outside our heads as well as inside. We can no longer cast the sex differences debate as nature versus nurture we need to acknowledge that the relationship between a brain and its world is not a one-way street, but a constant two-way flow of traffic.

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Comparisons With Tract Based Spatial Statistics And Support Vector Machine

To justify the effectiveness of our method, the Tract Based Spatial Statistics and Support Vector Machine were applied to our dataset as comparisons, since these are two popular methods for data analysis in neuroimaging studies . We compared the results in following two conditions: We used the SVM as the classifier while keeping the same preprocessing procedure in order to compare its results with our 3D PCNN method. We flatten each sample from the 3D FA matrix into a vector, and then fed the SVM with the vector. We used the TBSS to identify the brain regions where are shown the statistically significant gender-related difference.

In Favor Of No Sex Differences Or Inconclusive Consensus

Men really DO have bigger brains

Most studies find either a very small difference in favor of males or no sex difference with regard to general intelligence. In 2000, researchers Roberto Colom and Francisco J. Abad conducted a large study of 10,475 adults on five IQ tests taken from the Primary Mental Abilities and found negligible or no significant sex differences. The tests conducted were on vocabulary, spatial rotation, verbal fluency and inductive reasoning.

A 2012 review by researchers Richard E. Nisbett, Joshua Aronson, Clancy Blair, William Dickens, James Flynn, Diane F. Halpern and Eric Turkheimer discussed Arthur Jensen‘s 1998 studies on sex differences in intelligence. Jensen’s tests were significantly g-loaded but were not set up to get rid of any sex differences . They summarized his conclusions as he quoted, “No evidence was found for sex differences in the mean level of g or in the variability of g. Males, on average, excel on some factors females on others.” Jensen’s conclusion that no overall sex differences existed for g has been reinforced by researchers who analyzed this issue with a battery of 42 mental ability tests and found no overall sex difference.

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Interesting Facts About Male Brains

Most popular notions about the male brain are based on studies of men ages 18 to 22 undergrads subjecting themselves to experiments for beer money or course credit. But a man’s brain varies tremendously over his life span, quickly contradicting the image of the single-minded sex addict that circulates in mainstream consciousness.

In this presentation, you’ll learn about common misconceptions, such as men wanting to sow their wild oats forever. And you’ll learn how vulnerable men are to loneliness, and why men are so frustratingly focused on solutions.

In short, gals, here’s what you need to know about guys’ minds.

Covet Wedding Bells Too

Women want to settle down, and men want to sow their wild oats forever, the refrain usually goes. But this might be one of the largest misconceptions stemming from the U.S. tendency of using undergrads as test subjects.

Infidelities are most likely to occur before men hit 30, found a study of Bolivian men published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in 2007. After that, men primarily focus on providing for their families, the study found.

Of course, some men have a harder time with commitment than others a problem which could be genetic, according to a 2008 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Men without the “promiscuity gene,” an estimated 60 percent of the population, are more likely to marry. But that’s not all. Both they and their wives are also more likely to report relative marital bliss, the researchers found.

Unfortunately, the association is so small, said the study’s lead researcher Hasse Walum of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, “you can’t use it for screening potential mates.”

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Reversing Trends At University

These findings impressively show that the social context as a whole has to be considered when looking at the differences in performance of men and women as often times, stereotypes that are deeply rooted within us are influencing our perception of gender differences. Looking at the academic context, this theory can be confirmed. A few decades ago, the number of male students enrolled in subjects such as medicine was considerably larger than the number of female students as the assumption was still predominant that men were more suitable to study medicine compared to women. Today however, it is the female students that generally make up the majority of medical students.

So in a nutshell, what can be said about the differences between men and women? We have seen that there are indeed significant differences between a male and a female brain. But we should be careful not to attach too much importance to these differences as social criteria such as stereotypes play an equally important role in assessing the differences between both sexes.

Finally, there is also a positive side to these research findings: next time you are trying to figure out the mysterious minds of the opposite sex, rest assured that a) you now know where our differences come from and b) you are definitely not alone in your misery.

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