Women really do have smaller brains... but they use them more efficiently than men
- Female brains are typically 8 per cent smaller
- However they are more efficient at tracking changes and inductive reasoning
It's a standing joke among many men... that women have smaller brains.
Now research seems to indicate that while this may be true, it doesn’t matter because women use their brains more efficiently.
A woman’s works more efficiently than the man’s by using less energy and fewer brain cells to achieve the same, or even better results.
The new research, carried out by University of California neuroscientists assisted by colleagues in Madrid, set out to question why women, with brains typically 8 per cent small than those of men, were of equal intelligence.
It focused on the section of the brain known as the hippocampus - vital for a useful memory and emotions.
In men, the larger the hippocampus, and the more neurons, the higher the intelligence.
But the researchers found that in women, a larger hippocampus, typically of course smaller than men’s, was no indication of greater intelligence - and even suggested that the smaller the hippocampus, the better.
The scientists carried out psychological tests on 59 women and 45 men aged from 18 to 27.
In line with previous studies they found the women were better at inductive reasoning and tracking a changing situation, while the men showed greater prowess at spatial reasoning.
The paper concluded: ‘At this structural level, females might show greater efficiency requiring less neural material for achieving behavioural results on a par with males.’
Cambridge University professor of Trevor Robbins said the research was fascinating but required further examination.
Prof Robbins said: ‘The research suggests that, in women, the smaller the hippocampus, the better it works. The size of a structure doesn’t necessarily bear any relation to how well it performs.
‘The smaller size could represent more intense packing of nerve cells or more active signalling between them, meaning they are operating more efficiently.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2287523/Women-really-smaller-brains--use-efficiently-men.html#ixzz2MZztgvle
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