[Paleopsych] BH: Men and Women: Same IQ, Different Brain
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Sat Jan 22 15:36:47 UTC 2005
Men and Women: Same IQ, Different Brain
Significant differences found in intelligence-related areas
1/21/2005 2:13 PM
Men and women appear to employ different brain organization to achieve
the same level of general intelligence.
Brain imaging has revealed that men have more gray matter related
to intellectual ability while women have more white matter.
Gray matter refers to information processing centers while white
matter refers to connections between the processing centers.
Men have about 6.5 times as much general intelligence gray matter as
women while women have about 10 times as much white matter, report
researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the
University of New Mexico.
"These findings suggest that human evolution has created two different
types of brains designed for equally intelligent behavior," says
researcher Richard Haier of the University of California, Irvine. "In
addition, by pinpointing these gender-based intelligence areas, the
study has the potential to aid research on dementia and other
cognitive-impairment diseases in the brain."
Using such tools as magnetic resonance imaging and cognitive
tests, Haier and colleagues produced brain maps that correlated brain
tissue volume with IQ.
Besides finding differences in amounts of white and gray matter, the
researchers also found regional differences. Intelligence-related gray
matter, for example, appears to be distributed throughout the brain in
men while in women it's more localized to the frontal lobe.
Regionalization may help explain why women and men appear to be
hardwired to excel at different tasks, such as mathematics for men and
language facility for women. Overall, however, says study coauthor Rex
Jung of the University of New Mexico, the different brain
organizations produce equivalent overall performance on broad
cognitive measures such as intelligence tests.
The research supports clinical findings that women are more
cognitively affected by frontal brain injuries. They could ultimately
help improve the diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders in men and
The research is reported in the journal NeuroImage (read
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