Women have smaller brains
But they use them more efficiently than men.
Aaaaaand that’s when the fight started.
Neil Sears took a look at some recent research, copied here in its entirety for you.
We’ll have more to say on this soon.
- 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.
It could be because while men have more of the bundles of brain cells essential for reasoning – neurons – the women have more connections between theirs, enabling quicker thinking despite having less grey matter.
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.
But the women’s brains were the more efficient, suggested the published results of the research, published in the scientific journal Intelligence.
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.’
So here’s the take home bit
Maybe you didn’t learn anything new. Maybe you have more questions…
Notice the careful use of qualifying terms:
But let’s open up the argument. I mean, conversation.
Thoughts and questions welcome..
Impressive words to drop into the morning coffee chat
What do you think?
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