Gender differences: women's brains more active than men's
According to a recent study, the brain of women is significantly more active than that of men, both at rest and when performing tasks. Among other things, the new findings could provide an explanation for why women are more susceptible to depression, for example.
Women's brains are more active
Numerous studies have already shown that the brains differ from men and women. For example, researchers from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) reported that it is due to part of the female brain that losing weight is much more difficult for women. And according to scientists from Stanford University (USA), same-sex work colleagues are usually more effective because there are differences between the sexes in the brain regions used. A new study has now shown that the brain of women is generally more active than that of men.
Brain activity at rest and when doing tasks
To arrive at their results, the researchers compared Dr. Daniel Amen from Amen Clinics 46,034 brain scans from 129 healthy and more than 26,000 subjects with psychiatric disorders.
Brain activity was compared both at rest and during various tasks using photon emission computed tomography (SPECT).
The results have now been published in the journal "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease".
Clear activity differences between men and women
According to the scientists, there were clear differences in activity between men and women in the 128 brain areas examined.
Overall, the women's brain was significantly more active both at rest and when performing tasks. According to the researchers, the dormant brain of healthy women was more active in 65 areas than that of men, while 48 areas reacted more strongly to concentration tasks.
Increased activity was found primarily in the prefrontal cortex. This area is important for focusing and impulse control, as well as for the limbic or emotional system that is involved in moods and fears.
In contrast, men were more active in areas that control visual perception and coordination.
Different risks for brain diseases
According to the study authors, the results could explain why women often outperform men in areas related to empathy, intuition, collaboration or self-control.
The increased activity of the limbic system could in turn explain why women are more susceptible to anxiety, depression, insomnia and eating disorders.
"This is a very important study that helps to understand the gender differences in the brain," said Dr. Amen in a blog.
The research team hopes to use these and other studies to better understand the differences between male and female brains and the development of neurological diseases.
Both sexes have different risks for brain diseases. For example, depression and Alzheimer's are more common in women, behavioral problems, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in men. (ad)