Women’s brains are more active than men’s, new research finds.
Results from 46,034 brain scans found that women’s brains had, on average, more activity in many regions.
These include the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in impulse control and focus.
Also, women had more activity in the limbic areas of the brain, which are involved in emotion, including anxiety and general mood.
However, the areas involved in vision and coordination were more active in men.
The differences may help to explain why women are better, on average, at empathising and self-control.
Greater activity in the areas related to mood may help to explain women’s greater susceptibility to mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
Dr Daniel G. Amen, the study’s first author, said:
“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 study used SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography).
People were scanned while at rest and while performing cognitive tasks.
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The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (Amen et al., 2017).