PREVIOUS: M vs F Brains #5
SITEs:▪︎ Women wired to be Leaders
• info from “Unleash the Power of the Female Brain”, Dr. Daniel Amen
▪︎ “Study finds women use their brains far more than men do“, Dr. Amen (Also how men use their brain)
NOTE: Articles / books have also been written to dispel the idea of M/F differences. One such from the UK is : “Sex and the brain: fruitless research?“
REVIEW: In spite of the endless variations in human behavior in both males & females, modern brain scan research shows broad tendency differences.
COMBINED INFO (cont.)
GREY & WHITE MATTER
Research suggests that anatomical differences between Ms & Fs exist independently of brain size effects. Both genders have both W & G matter, but in different proportions.
Grey matter (GM) makes up the information & action-processing centers of the brain, localized in specific splotches, in specific areas, ‘encouraging’ a kind of tunnel vision
M: slightly higher % of grey matter, (computational tissue) in most parts of the cerebrum, the left caudate (communication) & hippocampus (memory)
For task-focused projects – Ms use nearly 7x more gray matter than Fs
EXP: When deeply engaged in a task or game, they can ignore people & surroundings
White matter (WM) is the networking grid connecting GM with other processing centers, so Fs can transition between tasks more quickly
F: slightly higher % of white matter, (connective cables), containing myelinated axonal fibers, & cerebro-spinal fluid
For multi-tasking – Fs use nearly 10x more white matter than Ms
SEROTONIN / DOPAMINE diff (Serotonin)
M: their Serotonin levels are usually higher (than Fs), making them less susceptible to depression – but not immune.
They also have more Dopamine (levels can be raised by oneself, from activities), the hormone of competition, risk-taking & motivation – “Go, kill Wooly Mammoth”.
★ When men over-compete & over-push themselves, they deplete Dopamine, making them feel grumpy & in the ‘grey zone’. They may try to replenish it by high-risk activities such as driving fast cars, bikes & planes, or affairs, drugs …..
F: they have more ‘common’ receptors for Serotonin, (than Ms), but less of the protein needed to transport the chemical back into the nerve cells that secreted it (recycle). This may explain why they respond better to serotonin re-uptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs) . CHART ⬇️ However, the serotonin system in healthy women differs from those with serious pre-menstrual mental symptoms.
★ Long-term over-focus on caring for others & worry inevitably depletes Serotonin, leading to depression, being weepy, sad & obsessed. (MORE…. )
IMP: Serotonin levels can not be raised by oneself. It has to be elevated by positive feedback from the environment. This is important because Serotonin levels INcrease Dopamine levels (motivation).
There’s increasing clinical interesting impulse-control factors because it’s associated with conditions such as delinquency, antisocial behavior, suicide attempts, aggression & criminal activity.
F: Brain areas that control aggression & anger are larger in women than in men, & they retain stronger & more vivid memories for emotional events. They’re also more resistance to psychiatric disorders because of their ability to control impulsive behavior (prefrontal cortex is more active, so they plan more thoroughly & carefully before taking action). In reward-studies, they were consistently more punishment-sensitive, & better able to delay gratification, compared to Ms.
M: There’s evidence the serotonin (5-HT) system is more involved in male impulsivity than in Fs. A questionnaire & a behavioral risk-taking task showed men being significantly greater sensation-seekers.
Impulsiveness is seen most graphically on the road (driving recklessly or when drunk, less likely to use seat-belts….). In reward-studies, Ms preferred a smaller immediate payment rather than a larger delayed one, & did not show greater reward-sensitivity.
😈 Another study correlated Impulsivity with cortical thickness, the area needed for self-control. The thinner the tissue in the ‘front’ brain, the greater the sensation seeking. (More…. w/ images ▼)
NEXT: M/F brain #7