Friday, 18 July 2008

Brain differences (continued)

The Independent has summarised the New Scientist article in detail and added some comments from well-known professionals etc. The guide below is the Independent's own summary of the differences.

A guide to the male and female control panels
Controlled by the frontal lobe, which is proportionally larger in women.
Controlled by the limbic cortex, which is also proportionally larger in women.
Controlled by the parietal cortex , which regulates how we move around. Proportionally larger in men.
Controlled by the amygdala, which is proportionally larger in men. When recalling an emotionally charged scene, men enlist its right side, women its left. Men remember the gist of the scene, and women the details.
Controlled by the periaqueductal grey, an area of grey matter in the mid-brain, known to have a role in the suppression of pain in men but perhaps not in women.

For some reason they have omitted this difference -
Controlled by the hippocampus, proportionally larger in WOMEN, 'perhaps surprisingly given women's reputation as bad map-readers.' from New Scientist article.

However, I don't understand how all this has been summarised by Politics and the City as

'Apparently, women concentrate on emotions, decision-making and spatial navigation.
Men, on the other hand, concentrate mainly on sex.
No surprises there then, apart from the spatial navigation thing. Who says women can’t read maps?'

and similarly in the Daily Mail article

The study found that women devote more brain inches to decision-making, emotions and, perhaps surprisingly given their poor reputation for map-reading, to spatial navigation.
The male brain, however, appears to conform to stereotype, with a bigger emphasis on sex.

The only reference to sex that I found in the original New Scientist article, was this:
In men, proportionally larger areas include...and the amygdala, which controls emotions and sexual behaviour. Not exactly the same? Do we see what we wish to see?

No comments: