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The female brain is more active than the human brain, according to a study

The female brain is more active than the human brain, according to a study

May 5, 2024

The psychological and neurological differences between men and women they are one of the fields of study that most interest the world of science applied to the study of the human being. After all, the division between the sexes has a clear impact on many aspects of our lives, we belong to the culture we belong to, around the entire planet.

For example, research that explores the differences in the cognitive performance of men and women is intended to give us an approximation to the type of mental abilities and psychological aptitudes. Normally, this is done by differentiating between categories of cognitive abilities and seeing in which women stand out the most and which ones are best given to men.


However, there are other indirect ways of knowing what aspects of our mental life are in which there is a division between the sexes. For example, you can see how often the brains of people are activated . And that is precisely what has been done through recent research, whose results have been published in the scientific journal Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. The bottom line is that, in general, a woman's brain is about 10% more active than a man's.

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Women's brains are more active

This research, promoted by the scientists of the Amen Clinics of California, was carried out from more than 20,000 images in which the functional activation of patient brains is recorded .


These "scans" of the brain are made by measuring the areas of this set of organs in which a greater amount of blood supply is received. It is based on the idea that the more blood reaches an area, the more "activated" it will be, since irrigation arrives to support the energy needs of areas that need a greater amount of resources when they are very busy.

Thus, from the coloration and luminosity that each of the areas of the brain received, the researchers had the opportunity to see how in the brains of women were more frequent to have "illuminated" extensions of encephalon larger than in men (at least in proportion).

From the analysis of data, it was seen that women's brains were greater both at rest (12% difference) and while performing a complex task (in this case, the difference was 8%).


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Are women smarter?

It is very easy and intuitive to relate the activation of the brains with the degree of intelligence. However, they are two different things.

What defines intelligence itself is the ability to improvise solutions in changing situations. That is, if we are good at adapting to rapidly changing contexts , we will be intelligent regardless of what happens in our brain: what matters is the practice of our actions applied to real environments, not neuroimaging.

However, it is also true that our actions are not disconnected from what happens in our brain, much less (without a brain, there would be no behavior). And in addition, practically any variation in behavior patterns is reflected in differences in activation patterns. That's why the fact that women's brains tend to be somewhat more activated than men's is much more than just curiosity, and may have implications in the world of psychology and neurology .

For example, there is data that shows how intelligence is linked more to the little brain activation than to an excess of this. It makes sense, since smarter people make less effort when executing complex mental operations. To put it in some way, they manage their neural resources better.

But that does not mean either that women are less intelligent than men. After all, the IQ score registers reveal that there are hardly any differences between the sexes, and that in any case the average intelligence of women is somewhat higher than that of men, while the number of gifted people is higher. in males, and the same occurs with extremely low scores (in this sex there is a greater dispersion of results).

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Are they really differences between the sexes?

The existence of these differences in the intensity of brain activation does not mean that in any situation and context, the female brain always maintains this difference with respect to that of man.As much as there are several differences between men and women that are almost entirely due to genes, others are the result of culture , the way society shapes our nervous systems.

What happens is that, until now, it is not clear what part of the observable differences between man and woman are due to genetics and which are due to culture. It will be necessary to investigate more to know if everything it's due to the different lifestyle between the sexes . Many times we forget that, even through different cultures, the roles assigned to women and men can make their nervous system adapt in different ways.

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