Study Finds Women’s Brains Are Far More Active Than Men’s
A new study of 46,034 brain scans shows women’s brains are more active than men’s.
In the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the largest-ever study of brain images has been published, authored by Amen Clinics. The study encompasses 46,034 Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) brain images sourced from nine clinics. Its authors came to a conclusion that would surprise few women: Women’s brains are more active than men’s.
SPECT imaging tracks activity in the brain by registering blood perfusion in specific areas as subjects perform various tasks, or are at rest. The images came from 119 healthy volunteers as well as 26,683 patients suffering from a range of psychiatric issues including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia/psychotic disorders, mood disorders, brain trauma, and ADHD. The study analyzed activity in a total of 128 regions using at-rest baseline images against images taken while subjects performed assigned concentration tasks.
Amen founder and lead author of the study psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen told the Journal, “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.”
The brains of female subjects were found to be both more active than men’s, and in more areas. The pre-frontal cortex, which is the location for higher executive functions such as focus and impulse control, was one region in which women showed greater activity. This may explain their greater capacity for empathy, collaboration, self-control, and intuition. Women, though, are far more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than men, and to develop depression, believed to be an Alzheimer’s precursor, as well as anxiety disorders.
Women’s increased blood flow in the limbic areas also may account for their vulnerability to anxiety and depression, insomnia, and eating disorders.
Included in the study is this graphic representation of the overall findings. Regions of higher activity in women are shown in red. Areas of higher male activity are blue.
Men over-performed in the visual- and coordination-related regions. Though less likely to develop Alzheimer’s, men are more prone to ADHD and conduct issues, with 1400% more men having to be incarcerated than women. Which proves what many women suspect anyway about male humans.
The study, to be clear, doesn’t say anything about the relative intelligence of the two genders. Gents, there’s still hope.
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.