A research team from University of Pennsylvania has found that men and women’s brains are wired in completely different ways which may explain why they excel at certain tasks.
The researchers scanned the brains of nearly 1,000 men, women, boys and girls and found striking differences.
Male brains are wired front to back, with few connections bridging the two hemispheres.
In females, the connections criss-cross between left and right.
These differences might explain why men, in general, tend to be better at learning and performing a single task, like cycling or navigating, whereas women are more equipped for multitasking, say the researchers in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Men and women’s brains are wired in completely different ways which may explain why they excel at certain tasks
The same volunteers were asked to perform a series of cognitive tests, and the results appeared to support this notion.
Experts have questioned whether it can be that simple, arguing it is a huge leap to extrapolate from anatomical differences to try to explain behavioral variation between genders.
In the study, women scored well on attention, word and face memory, and social cognition, while men performed better on spatial processing and sensori-motor speed.
Study author Dr. Ruben Gur said: “It’s quite striking how complementary the brains of women and men really are.
“Detailed connectome maps of the brain will not only help us better understand the differences between how men and women think, but it will also give us more insight into the roots of neurological disorders, which are often s** related.”
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According to a new study, the brain uses sleep to wash away the waste toxins built up during a hard day’s thinking.
The US team conducting the new research, believe the “waste removal system” is one of the fundamental reasons for sleep.
Their study, published in the journal Science, showed brain cells shrink during sleep to open up the gaps between neurons and allow fluid to wash the brain clean.
They also suggest that failing to clear away some toxic proteins may play a role in brain disorders.
It has been shown to have a big role in the fixing of memories in the brain and learning, but a team at the University of Rochester Medical Centre believe that “housework” may be one of the primary reasons for sleep.
The brain uses sleep to wash away the waste toxins built up during a hard day’s thinking
“The brain only has limited energy at its disposal and it appears that it must choose between two different functional states – awake and aware or asleep and cleaning up,” said researcher Dr. Maiken Nedergaard.
“You can think of it like having a house party. You can either entertain the guests or clean up the house, but you can’t really do both at the same time.”
Their findings build on last year’s discovery of the brain’s own network of plumbing pipes – known as the glymphatic system – which carry waste material out of the brain.
Scientists, who imaged the brains of mice, showed that the glymphatic system became 10-times more active when the mice were asleep.
Cells in the brain, probably the glial cells which keep nerve cells alive, shrink during sleep. This increases the size of the interstitial space, the gaps between brain tissue, allowing more fluid to be pumped in and wash the toxins away.
Dr. Maiken Nedergaard said this was a “vital” function for staying alive, but did not appear to be possible while the mind was awake.
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Dante Autullo, a suburban Chicago man accidentally shot a 3.25 in (8.25 cm) nail into his skull but is recovering after doctors successfully removed it from the centre of his brain.
Dante Autullo, 34, was in his workshop when a nail gun recoiled near his head.
The man had no idea the nail had entered his brain until the next day, when he began feeling nauseous.
Doctors told Dante Autullo that the nail came within millimetres of the area used for motor function.
Dante Autullo’s fiancee, Gail Glaenzer, told the Associated Press on Friday that he was in good spirits after the two-hour surgery to remove the nail at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois.
“He feels good. He moved all his limbs, he’s talking normal, he remembers everything,” she said.
“It’s amazing, a miracle.”
Dante Autullo, 34, was in his workshop when a nail gun recoiled near his head
Gail Glaenzer said she had no idea the nail had entered his skull when she cleaned a cut on his forehead.
The woman convinced him to go to the hospital after he felt nauseous for much of Wednesday.
Dante Autullo thought that the nail gun had simply hit his forehead, but realized later that when the gun came in contact with his head, the sensor recognized a flat surface and fired.
While there are pain-sensitive nerves on a person’s skull, there are none within the brain itself.
Hospital spokesman Mike Maggio said the part of the skull that was removed for surgery had to be replaced with a titanium mesh amid worries that it might have been contaminated by the nail.