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Men and Women: Same IQ, Different Brain or Why Women Can't Read Maps

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  • Men and Women: Same IQ, Different Brain or Why Women Can't Read Maps

    Finally - why women can't read maps

    From correspondents in New Mexico
    January 24, 2005
    Daily Telegraph

    MEN frequently despair at women's map-reading skills - or rather their lack of them. Now scientists believe they have pinpointed the reason for this conflict between the sexes.

    Researchers say it is all down to differences in the reliance of the sexes on either grey matter or white matter in their brains to solve problems.

    They found that in intelligence tests men use 6.5 times as much grey matter as women, but women use nine times as much white matter.

    Grey matter is brain tissue crucial to processing information and plays a vital role in aiding skills such as mathematics, map-reading and intellectual thought.

    White matter connects the brain's processing centres and is central to emotional thinking, use of language and the ability to do more than one thing at once.

    Professor Rex Jung, a co-author of the study at the University of New Mexico, said: "This may help explain why men tend to excel in tasks requiring more local processing, like mathematics and map-reading, while women tend to excel at integrating information from various brain regions, such as is required for language skills.

    "These two very different pathways and activity centres, however, result in equivalent overall performance on broad measures of cognitive ability, such as those found on intelligence tests."

    Previous studies have shown that women have weaker spatial awareness than men, making it harder for them to read maps.

    Research has also found that in childhood, girls' vocabulary develops more quickly and that in later life women can speak 20,000 to 25,000 words a day compared to a man's 7000 to 10,000.

    For the study, published in the online edition of the journal NeuroImage, researchers performed a series of brain scans on 26 female and 22 male volunteers using magnetic resonance imaging equipment.

    All the volunteers were in good health, had no history of brain injury and the average IQ scores of the two sexes were similar.

    Their brains were scanned while they carried out tests designed to assess their general intelligence.

    Researchers then created a map of a brain showing the varying levels of activity in the brains of men and women. About 40 per cent of the human brain is grey matter and 60 per cent white matter.

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117...-13762,00.html
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  • #2
    Men and Women: Same IQ, Different Brain

    Significant differences found in intelligence-related areas

    Betterhumans Staff
    1/21/2005 2:13 PM

    Men and women appear to employ different brain organization to achieve the same level of general intelligence.

    Brain imaging has revealed that men have more gray matter related to intellectual ability while women have more white matter.

    Gray matter refers to information processing centers while white matter refers to connections between the processing centers.

    Men have about 6.5 times as much general intelligence gray matter as women while women have about 10 times as much white matter, report researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the University of New Mexico.

    "These findings suggest that human evolution has created two different types of brains designed for equally intelligent behavior," says researcher Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine. "In addition, by pinpointing these gender-based intelligence areas, the study has the potential to aid research on dementia and other cognitive-impairment diseases in the brain."

    Mental maps

    Using such tools as magnetic resonance imaging and cognitive tests, Haier and colleagues produced brain maps that correlated brain tissue volume with IQ.

    Besides finding differences in amounts of white and gray matter, the researchers also found regional differences. Intelligence-related gray matter, for example, appears to be distributed throughout the brain in men while in women it's more localized to the frontal lobe.

    Regionalization may help explain why women and men appear to be hardwired to excel at different tasks, such as mathematics for men and language facility for women. Overall, however, says study coauthor Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico, the different brain organizations produce equivalent overall performance on broad cognitive measures such as intelligence tests.

    The research supports clinical findings that women are more cognitively affected by frontal brain injuries. They could ultimately help improve the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders in men and women.

    The research is reported in the journal NeuroImage (read abstract).

    Related content:

    Brain--Sex differences

    Female Brain More Vulnerable to Eating Disorders
    1/5/2005 6:14 PM
    Gene Controls Sex Differences in Brain
    8/30/2004 4:15 PM

    http://www.betterhumans.com/News/new...D=2005-01-21-3
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    • #3
      Men and Women Really Do Think Differently

      By Bjorn Carey
      LiveScience Staff Writer
      posted: 20 January 2005


      Men and women do think differently, at least where the anatomy of the brain is concerned, according to a new study.

      The brain is made primarily of two different types of tissue, called gray matter and white matter. This new research reveals that men think more with their gray matter, and women think more with white. Researchers stressed that just because the two sexes think differently, this does not affect intellectual performance.

      Psychology professor Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine led the research along with colleagues from the University of New Mexico. Their findings show that in general, men have nearly 6.5 times the amount of gray matter related to general intelligence compared with women, whereas women have nearly 10 times the amount of white matter related to intelligence compared to men.

      "These findings suggest that human evolution has created two different types of brains designed for equally intelligent behavior," said Haier, adding that, "by pinpointing these gender-based intelligence areas, the study has the potential to aid research on dementia and other cognitive-impairment diseases in the brain."

      The results are detailed in the online version of the journal NeuroImage.

      In human brains, gray matter represents information processing centers, whereas white matter works to network these processing centers.

      The results from this study may help explain why men and women excel at different types of tasks, said co-author and neuropsychologist Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico. For example, men tend to do better with tasks requiring more localized processing, such as mathematics, Jung said, while women are better at integrating and assimilating information from distributed gray-matter regions of the brain, which aids language skills.

      Scientists find it very interesting that while men and women use two very different activity centers and neurological pathways, men and women perform equally well on broad measures of cognitive ability, such as intelligence tests.



      Both Haier and Jung hope that this research will someday help doctors diagnose brain disorders in men and women earlier, as well as provide help designing more effective and precise treatments for brain damage.

      http://www.livescience.com/humanbiology/050120_brain_sex.html
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      • #4
        Intelligence in men and women is a gray and white matter


        Men and women use different brain areas to achieve similar IQ results, UCI study finds

        Irvine, Calif. , January 20, 2005

        NeuroImageAbout the University of California, Irvine: The University of California, Irvine is a top-ranked public university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UCI is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 24,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 1,400 faculty members. The second-largest employer in dynamic Orange County, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3 billion.

        http://today.uci.edu/news/release_detail.asp?key=1261
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        • #5
          I'm confused, but not about map reading.

          I excel at map reading does that mean I have a man's brain? :confused:



          But that can't be because I also can read directions and follow them, especially when putting together new appliances and multipiece furniture kits.

          ;)
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