The female and the male brain


Authors: F. Koukolík
Authors‘ workplace: Oddělení patologie a molekulární medicíny ;  Národní referenční laboratoř prionových chorob ;  Thomayerova nemocnice, Praha ;  Primář: doc. MUDr. Radoslav Matěj, PhD.
Published in: Prakt. Lék. 2013; 93(4): 143-151
Category: Editorial

Overview

Brain anatomical and functional differences attributable to gender are well documented. These differences may be associated with differences in behaviours and cognitive performance. Brain size is independent of differences in grey matter distributions between men and women. Women show greater overall cortical connectivity and the underlying organization of their cortical networks is more efficient both locally and globally. There are regional sex differences in grey matter volume that are associated with sex hormones in the young adult human brain. It is commonly held that men show an advantage on spatial tasks and women on verbal tasks but there some differences in autobiographical and emotional memory, emotional reactivity, emotion regulation and empathy too. Some common pain conditions eg. temporomandibular disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia syndrome and tension-type and migraine headaches show sex-related differences in their occurrence. The magnitude and nature of sex differences in aggression can probably be better explained by sexual selection than by the social role theory. There are differences between the male and female neural correlates for aesthetic preference. The underrepresentation of women in science is better explained by socio-cultural factors than by biological causation. The gender similarities hypothesis holds that men and women are more similar than different on most psychological variables.

Keywords:
brain – sex – gender – differences – similarities


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