Chicago biologists say the difference between the male and female brains is greatly exaggerated


    Researchers from Rosalind Franklin University of Science and Medicine (North Chicago, Illinois, USA), having studied dozens of scientific papers, came to the conclusion that the brains of men and women are practically the same - in particular, the popular opinion that the male hippocampus is larger than the female not true.

    To draw a conclusion, the researchers examined 76 works, covering a total of MRI scans of more than 6,000 people. When forming the conclusion, the scientists used the meta-analysis technique, which allows compiling data from various scientific sources.

    “Gender differences in the brain are extremely attractive for people looking for simple explanations for the stereotypical differences between men and women,” says Lise Eliot], Ph.D., assistant professor at the institute (and woman). - Usually studies with similar results have a large response, but are based on a small sample. But, having examined a large amount of data, and combining information on the study of both men and women, we find that these differences are either completely absent or insignificant. ”

    The hippocampus is the paired part of the brain located in both hemispheres. It is believed that he is involved in the formation of emotions, and the translation of short-term memory into long-term, and also helps to navigate in space . In the hippocampus there are "place neurons" that are activated at the moment when the individual recognizes his position on the ground.

    Based on the differences between the female and male brains found in other studies, various conclusions were drawn. For example, because of the smaller size of the brain, women use it more efficiently . Also, the difference in the size of the hippocampus, scientists explained the difference in the emotional behavior of men and women , and the difference in the ability to navigate the terrain . At the same time, there are studies that prove that it is possible to increase the size of the hippocampus by training, which improves memory.

    “Many people think that there is a 'male brain' and a 'female brain,” says Dr. Eliot. “But if you don’t focus on popularized research and dig deeper, you can often find that the differences between them are minimal.”

    Dr. Liz Eliot knows firsthand the brain

    Due to the extreme complexity of the structure of the brain, scientists are still very far from understanding the mechanisms of our central nervous system. Some studies often refute others, therefore, before reaching far-reaching conclusions on the functioning of the brain, it is necessary to wait for sound evidence from other independent research centers.

    Rosalind Franklin University of Science and Medicine is a postgraduate educational institution (master's degree), named after the English biophysicist and radiologist who studied the structure of DNA. About two thousand students study in it issues related to biology and medicine. The university was founded in 1912.

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