Roughly speaking, the back of the brain handles perception and the front of the brain
handles action; the left hemisphere of the brain is the seat of logical
thinking, while the right side of the brain begets intuitive thinking. The
findings lend support to the view that males may excel at motor skills, while
women may be better at integrating analysis and intuitive thinking.
"It is fascinating that we can see some of functional differences in men and
women structurally," Verma told LiveScience. However, the results do not apply
to individual men and women, she said. "Every individual could have part of both
men and women in them," she said, referring to the connectivity patterns her
When the researchers compared the young people by age group, they saw the
most pronounced brain differences among adolescents (13.4 to 17 years old),
suggesting the sexes begin to diverge in the teen years. Males and females
showed the greatest differences in inter-hemisphere brain connectivity during
this time, with females having more connections between hemispheres primarily in
the frontal lobe. These differences got smaller with age, with older females
showing more widely distributed connections throughout the brain rather than
just in the frontal lobe.
Currently, scientists can't quantify how much an individual has male- or
female-like patterns of brain connectivity. Another lingering question is
whether the structural differences result in differences in brain function, or
whether differences in function result in structural changes.
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