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Sex in the Brain

 
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lynx

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Inscrit le: 22 Juil 2002
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MessagePosté le: Mar Sep 21, 2004 4:51 pm    Sujet du message: Sex in the Brain Répondre en citant

Sex in the Brain
Research Showing Men and Women Differ in More Than One Area

By Amanda Onion Laughing Laughing Laughing
ABCNEWS.com

Sept. 21, 2004— Men and women may really be from the same planet, but research is yielding mounting evidence that our brains are more different than we might think.


From the way we record information to how we process language to the size of our brains and different regions of the brain, clear differences have emerged through animal studies and the use of technology such as brain scanning.
Scientists are also trying to get at the roots of what may be behind these differences by looking at the effects of chromosomes and hormones at work in lab animals.

And this is just the beginning. Jill Goldstein, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, argues that social climates have only recently made such research acceptable.

"When I was growing up, to say there were sex differences in the brain, you weren't even supposed to talk about it," said Goldstein. "I think we're living in a time now when we can look at what some of these differences are without saying they are necessarily deterministic."

Disease by Gender
If the differences aren't always deterministic, why bother looking for them? Goldstein explains, besides satisfying a long curiosity about possible biological explanations for male and female behavior, the research can boost our understanding of sex-specific diseases and possible ways to cure them.

Depression, for example, appears to be twice as common in women as in men while women with schizophrenia seem to suffer less cognitive difficulties than men with the condition.

Nearly all neurodevelopmental diseases are either more common in one gender or more severe among one gender, says Nancy Forger of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Other conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, even lung cancer also seem to be influenced by a person's gender.

"Clearly, if we can understand what's different about male and female brains, then we can understand why one sex is more susceptible to a disease," said Forger.

Research has long shown that men's brains are larger, on average, than women's — by about 100 grams. This may partly be due to the fact that men are larger than women, on average. Plus, what men have in volume, women make up in connections between brain cells. It's unclear how this may translate into behavior, but some studies have shown that women may use more parts of their brain at once while men are more inclined to have focused responses.

Men More Forgetful?

Studies in people with damage to the left sides of their brains, for example, show that men with the damage are less likely to be able to recover their ability to talk. The work, from researchers in Bonn, Germany, suggested that men's verbal abilities may stem mostly from the left side of the brain. Meanwhile, women with left brain damage usually retained some language skills.

Other work has tapped functional MRIs — scanning devices that measure blood flow and activity in the brains of conscious subjects. Drs. Ruben and Raquel Gur at the University of Pennsylvania have shown that women's brains light up in more areas than men's brain when given verbal and spatial tasks.

Women may even use different pathways than men when thinking and encoding memories.

Turhan Canli, a Stanford psychologist, recently tested 12 men and 12 women in functional MRIs and showed that women encode memories using different pathways than what men use when recording memories. The women were later able to recall emotions of a memory more accurately than men, which could possibly stem from how their memories were encoded in the first place.


Other differences keep emerging, including variability in size of the different brain regions, including the hippocampus, the amygdala and certain brain cell clusters.

"At least 100 sex differences in male and female brains have been described so far," said Forger. "They keep cropping up in animal and human studies."
So what lies that the root of the male-female variability? In mammals, testosterone appears to be a main player.

Forger's work in mice has shown that as mammals develop in the womb, testosterone and related hormones trigger cell death in some regions of the male brain and foster cell development in other regions. In this way, the hormone sculpts the male brain and how it will differ from the female version.

Remove or add testosterone to mice shortly after birth, and their brains develop according to the presence of the hormone, regardless of their sex.
These kinds of studies are impossible to do in humans, but some have looked for testosterone's effects in the brain by comparing people of different sexual orientations.

Testosterone in Finger Lengths

Marc Breedlove, a neuroscientist at Michigan State University, was part of a recent study that looked at the ratio of finger lengths in heterosexual women and women with strong homosexual identities. The idea was gay women may have more traces of testosterone, and this might be evident through other signs.
"We found that lesbians we studied had a more masculine-looking pattern of finger lengths than straight women," he said, explaining that in masculine hands, the index finger tends to be significantly shorter than the ring finger. "The evidence is getting pretty good that testosterone can change the likelihood of sexual orientation which develops later in life." Shocked Shocked Shocked Khadija, Ndeye Amy, Megane, Weuuya, Fa, La DKR@NY, YAYEFALL, BellaAstou, ladies please check your fingers Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing


Incidentally, the same research didn't produce as clear results when gay and straight men were analyzed.
This kind of research remains controversial, as does any work that looks for explanations for human behavior in the brain. But most researchers looking into differences of the brain are quick to point out that there are many more differences in the brain just between individuals than between groups of people or between the sexes.

"Men and women are more the same than different in the brain — without a question," said Forger. "But," she added, "little differences can go a long way."



Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes I think they should stop the research here, before they discover that men are really dumb Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil at least my kind of man Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
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Ndeye amy

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MessagePosté le: Mer Sep 22, 2004 3:01 pm    Sujet du message: Répondre en citant

tu fait une fixette sur les lesbiennes dis donc!!
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