PREVIOUS: M vs F Brains #3
SITE: “Understanding the sexual brain“
COMBINED INFO (cont.)
There is NO “smarter” gender. Studies & meta-analyses found that brain size explains 6–12% of variances in individual intelligence, & cortical thickness explains 5%.
M : Gray Matter volume in the frontal & parietal lobes correlates with IQ.
In standardized tests, they fall at the extreme high & low ends of the IQ scale.
F : the Gray Matter volume in the frontal lobe & Broca’s area (language processing) correlates with IQ. In standardized tests they mainly cluster in the mid range.
Women have greater cortical complexity, thickness & surface area (controlling for body size), which compensates for smaller brain size.
F : The female brain is geared slightly more toward language because their temporal & frontal lobes are larger , areas that encompass human personality & communication abilities. These lobes deal with the senses of sound & smell, as well expression of emotions, memory, language, problem solving, judgement….
Women are better at communication because intuiting emotions & emotional cues helps them pick up indirect or hidden meanings in any situation – & are better at remember that type of information. They tend to use nearly 3x more words a day than men. Being naturally more sociable, they can get angry at men who can’t keep up a long conversation.
They focus on finding a solution that works for the group, by talking through issues, as well as using non-verbal cues, such as their tone of voice, emotional expression & empathy. Women usually like to talk while in a group where everyone is face-to-face. They might gesticulate, raise eyebrows, tilt their head & shrug shoulders.
Since women process language in both hemispheres, they have a bit more protection in case of stroke, so they may be able to recover their speaking ability more fully:
👄 Broca’s area, on the left side, is for speech & articulation. …
👅 Wernicke’s area, critically necessary, is in the posterior superior temporal lobe, & connects to Broca’s area via a neural pathway.
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M : Men typically only process language in their dominant hemisphere (one side ot the other), They tend to be more task-oriented, less talkative & more isolated, generally shares ideas, suggestions & facts while avoiding expressing emotions.
But they do talk more at work, where they shares ideas, problem-solve and communicates with a purpose. In personal conversations, men often use a relaxed, sprawled pose, keeping body language & facial expressions more contained. They prefers talking shoulder-to-shoulder in an angled pattern, where they can all ‘take in the room.
They use logic to ‘understand’ speech, so they prefer to sit quietly & focus on trying to hear exactly what someone is saying. They can get annoyed when women punctuate conversations with “OK” & “Uh huh” to let others know they’re listening. Men can experience that as an interruption.
♦ Such differences explain why men & women often have trouble communicating, & why man-to-man friendships are different than those among women.
Ms & Fs use similar brain regions – both activating the temporal-occipital junction & temporal pole, structures implicated in semantic knowledge & juxtaposition, as well as the inferior frontal gyrus, likely involved in language processing.
M : They’re more focused on a cheerful outcome of a story or a show. In a study, men were prepared to laugh along with slapstick.
F : They enjoy the subtleties of humor in general, & the language of presentation. In the study, women responded more analytically (is this really amusing), so felt more pleasure when they decided something really was funny.
This may be because their left prefrontal cortex is also activated, suggesting better executive processing & language-based decoding. They also had more activation of the meso-limbic & nucleus accumbens areas, implying greater reward-response & possibly less reward-expectation.
NEXT: F vs M Brains #5