Significant differences between male and female brains were discovered.
The research led by psychologist Stuart Ritchie, a doctoral postdoctoral researcher at Edinburgh University, discovered differences between male and female brains.
Can anatomical differences between men and women, such as reproductive organs, body hairs, extend to the brain? The greatest brain imaging study to date is that although sex brain-specific patterns such as female brains have thicker cortexes and male brains have larger brain volumes, Found more similarities.
Scientists who have been working on the brain for decades have noticed that the total brain volume of males is somewhat greater than that of females. These results were even observed when men were corrected for larger body sizes. But it has also proven to be deceptive to have exactly what the brain's infrastructure is larger or smaller. Most studies, on relatively small samples, generally examine less than 100 samples, which makes it impossible to produce large-scale results.
In the new study, researchers led by psychologist Stuart Ritchie, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh, have turned to UK biobank data, a long-running biomedical work in the United Kingdom, with over 500,000 enrollees. A subgroup of participants in the study was brain-scanned using MRI. The sample consisted of 2750 women and 2466 men, aged 44-77 years. Ritchie and colleagues examined the bulk of the 68 subspaces within the brain and the thickness of the brain cortex (the curved outer layer of the brain thought to be important for consciousness, language, memory, perception, and other functions).
When corrected for age, it was found that women tend to have significantly thicker cortices than men. Thicker cortices are associated with higher scores in various cognitive and general intelligence tests. At the same time, it was observed that for every cortex structure examined, men had larger brain volume than females. This cortex is composed of brain structures such as hippocampus (memory and spatial awareness), amygdala (emotion, memory and decision making), striatum (learning, inhibition and reward processing) and thalamus (processing and transfer of sensory information to other brain regions). The researchers found that 14 brain regions of males and 10 brain regions of females were larger. If the volumes and cortex thickness of the cortex structures are more variable among males than among females, the researchers reported this month with an article they submitted to bioRxiv.
This is an interesting result because it is consistent with previous studies on gender and IQ tests. Ritchie said, "Older studies have not found a difference in intelligence; But men were found to be more variable than women. The interesting point is that most of the male participants have a larger brain structure than the female participants. These results are consistent with the old results, which show that men are more physically and mentally different. "
Despite the consistent gender-related results of the study, researchers found significant overlap between men and women in brain volume and cortex thickness, just as it is about height. In other words; It is very difficult to determine whether a randomly selected participant is female or male, just as in the case of height, by looking at the brain scan. That means; Female and male brains exhibit more partnerships than they are different.
Amber Ruigrok, a neuroscientist at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and working on the relationship between gender differences and brain structure, wrote in an email to Science that it was convincing that the wide dimension of the work was convincing and that the large brain volume observed in men and women having thicker cortex He agrees with the results and confirms the predictions of the studies with small samples. Ruigrok also pointed out a factor which should be taken into account in future work; menopause. Many women in the study were at the age of menopause. Previous studies have shown that hormonal fluctuations affect brain structures. It is thought that this breed can play a role in gender differences in working.