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Mind games

No differences between “male brains” and “female brains,” study finds

December 1, 2015

Scientific research has long suggested that the brains of men and women are built differently. Nineteenth century researchers claimed they could discern a person’s sex by simply looking at his or her brain. More recent studies have found that men’s brains are larger in volume than those of women, and that brain connectivity differs between the sexes. But a new study coming out of Tel Aviv University in Israel posits that “male brains” and “female brains” don’t really fit into such a neat divide.

Researchers examined 1,400 detailed brains scans, and focused on specific brain “elements,” like the volume of grey matter and the size of the hippocampus. Some elements were more common in men, some were more common in women, but only six percent of the brains had “all male” or “all female” traits. In other words, the study could not find any distinguishing patterns in the brains of men and women.

“Although there are sex/gender differences in brain structure, brains do not fall into two classes, one typical of males and the other typical of females,” the researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Each brain is a unique mosaic of features, some of which may be more common in females compared with males, others may be more common in males compared with females, and still others may be common in both females and males.”

Read more at the The Los Angeles Times.