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a well wisher  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 10 October 2009 at 10:42pm

One of the reasons why physiological differences between male and female brains have not been widely noted before may be that most of what we know about the brain comes from studies of males, animals and human volunteers. "If even a small proportion of what has been inferred from these studies does not apply to females, it means a huge body of research has been built on shaky foundations," the review comments.

Professor Jeff Mogil from McGill University, in Montreal, Canada, who has demonstrated major differences in pain processing in males and females, puts it even more forcefully. He is astonished that so many researchers have failed to include female animals in their studies. "It's scandalous," he said. "Women are the most common pain sufferers, and yet our model for basic pain research is the male rat."

 
A guide to the male and female control panels

DECISION MAKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING:

Controlled by the frontal lobe, which is proportionally larger in women.

EMOTIONAL RESPONSE:

Controlled by the limbic cortex, which is also proportionally larger in women.

SPATIAL PERCEPTION:

Controlled by the parietal cortex , which regulates how we move around. Proportionally larger in men.

EMOTIONAL MEMORY:

Controlled by the amygdala, which is proportionally larger in men. When recalling an emotionally charged scene, men enlist its right side, women its left. Men remember the gist of the scene, and women the details.

SUPPRESSION OF PAIN:

Controlled by the periaqueductal grey, an area of grey matter in the mid-brain, known to have a role in the suppression of pain in men but perhaps not in women.

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 14 October 2009 at 12:10am
 
Male-Female Differences
 
I encourage people to learn all they can about brain function and to apply the knowledge they gain to their own lives on a daily basis. Because it is often easier to start from something than from nothing, I have prepared these summaries related to male-female differences.

My goal is to stimulate thinking and observation, trigger increased awareness at an individual level, jumpstart applications for every day living, and provide options for behaviors. Although I have relied heavily on brain function research, a plethora of studies, and discussions with brain researchers and other experts, the summaries represent my own brain’s opinion.

Strictly speaking, many use the word sex to refer to physical characteristics impacted by nature, and the word gender to refer to characteristics impacted by culture or nurture. Because of the close connection between nature and nurture and an inability to clearly distinguish between the impact of each in a person’s life and development after about the age of one year, I use these terms virtually synonymously. 

 
http://www.arlenetaylor.org/pas-male-female-differences


Edited by a well wisher - 14 October 2009 at 12:11am
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 09 November 2009 at 12:07am
Originally posted by a well wisher

 
A guide to the male and female control panels

DECISION MAKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING:

Controlled by the frontal lobe, which is proportionally larger in women.

EMOTIONAL RESPONSE:

Controlled by the limbic cortex, which is also proportionally larger in women.

SPATIAL PERCEPTION:

Controlled by the parietal cortex , which regulates how we move around. Proportionally larger in men.

EMOTIONAL MEMORY:

Controlled by the amygdala, which is proportionally larger in men. When recalling an emotionally charged scene, men enlist its right side, women its left. Men remember the gist of the scene, and women the details.

SUPPRESSION OF PAIN:

Controlled by the periaqueductal grey, an area of grey matter in the mid-brain, known to have a role in the suppression of pain in men but perhaps not in women.

 
A very interesting comparison
 
Seems that there is plenty of room for more research in this field
 
Women Are Sort Of More Tentative Than Men, Aren't They?

ScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2009) — Women hedge, issue disclaimers and ask questions when they communicate, language features that can suggest uncertainty, lack of confidence and low status. But men do the same, according to new research from the University of California, Davis.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090825090749.htm 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 16 November 2009 at 2:51pm

Purdue study shows men, women share same planet

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - It turns out men and women aren't from different planets after all, according to research from a Purdue University interpersonal communication expert.

For more than a decade, Americans have bought books and games based on the multimillion dollar industry built around the "Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus" theory, which explains communication differences between men and women as resulting from different gender cultures.

Now, research by Erina MacGeorge, an assistant professor of communication, shows there are small differences between men's and women's comforting skills, but not enough to claim the sexes are their own cultures or come from different planets.

"When it comes to comforting, the Mars-Venus concept is not only wrong, but harmful," MacGeorge says. "For the most part, men and women use, and strongly prefer, the same ways of comforting others – listening, sympathizing and giving thoughtful advice. Yet books like John Gray's 'Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus' and Deborah Tannen's 'You Just Don't Understand' tell men that being masculine means dismissing feelings and downplaying problems. That isn't what most men do, and it isn't good for either men or women."

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 21 November 2009 at 1:55am

Lise Eliot: Pink Brain, Blue Brain

Why don't boys play with dolls?

Lise Eliot, the author of Pink Brain, Blue Brain, explains how boys and girls at the age  of 1, 3 & 5 differ in their choice of toys

http://fora.tv/2009/09/29/Lise_Eliot_Pink_Brain_Blue_Brain#Dr_Lise_Eliot_Why_Dont_Boys_Play_with_Dolls

Very interesting remarks

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 22 November 2009 at 7:19am
Yes indeed...quite interesting...
 
There is comprehensive and compelling evidence for us to venture into the field of neuroanthropology as far as brain sciences are concerned that outlines why we can't fully understand the brain or culture while thinking of them as separate entities...This is intriguing...
 
The Encultured Brain:'Why Neuroanthropology? Why Now?'
 

Neuroanthropology places the brain and nervous system at the center of discussions about human nature, recognizing that much of what makes us distinctive inheres in the size, specialization, and dynamic openness of the human nervous system. By starting with neural physiology and its variability, neuroanthropology situates itself from the beginning in the interaction of nature and culture, the inextricable interweaving of developmental unfolding and evolutionary endowment.

Our brain and nervous system are our cultural organs. While virtually all parts of the human body—skeleton, muscles, joints, guts—bear the stamp of our behavioral variety, our nervous system is especially immature at birth, our brain disproportionately small in relation to its adult size and disproportionately susceptible to cultural sculpting. Compared to other mammals, our first year of life finds our brain developing as if in utero, immersed in language, social interaction, and the material world when other species are still shielded by their mother’s body from this outside world. This immersion means that our ideas about ourselves and how we want to raise our children affect the environmental niche in which our nervous system unfolds, influencing gene expression and developmental processes to the cellular level.

Increasingly, neuroscientists are finding evidence of functional differences in brain activity and architecture between cultural groups, occupations, and individuals with different skill sets. The implication for neuroanthropology is obvious: forms of enculturation, social norms, training regimens, ritual, and patterns of experience shape how our brains work and are structured. But the predominant reason that culture becomes embodied, even though many anthropologists overlook it, is that neuroanatomy inherently makes experience material. Without material change in the brain, learning, memory, maturation, and even trauma could not happen. Neural systems adapt through long-term refinement and remodeling, which leads to deep enculturation. Through systematic change in the nervous system, the human body learns to orchestrate itself as well as it eventually does. Cultural concepts and meanings become anatomy.

Although every animal’s nervous system is open to the world, the human nervous system is especially adept at projecting mental constructs onto the world, transforming the environment into a sociocognitive niche that scaffolds and extends the brain’s abilities. This niche is constructed through social relationships, physical environments, ritual patterns, and symbolic constructs that shape behavior and ideas, create divisions, and pattern lives. Thus, our brains become encultured through reciprocal processes of externalization and internalization, where we use the material world to think and act even as that world shapes our cognitive capacities, sensory systems, and response patterns....

 

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 28 November 2009 at 3:35pm

Children need a wide variety of learning experiences to develop both female and male gender-related skills

Some characteristics are gender equal, according to the education consultant and author.  Others may be more dominant in females or males. For example, fear and anxiety are greater among females.  Joy and happiness – positive emotions – are gender fair.
 
Men and woman can do the same things, but they take different roads to get there. Thus, it is important during the early years to expose females to learning experiences that will help them develop male dominant skills and vice versa. 

Deak describes the differences to children by saying that males see the forest (overview), while females see the trees (detail). Some do both equally well.

Some people believe it is going against the grain to moderate gender disposition by early intervention.  Deak disagrees.

Varied learning experiences in early childhood can assure that children develop both female and male skills. In pre-school boys left to play will spend five hours a week with blocks; girls will spend 5-10 minutes. Young boys need to be put in the language corner and young girls in the block corner so they can develop dendrites for each other’s areas. If we change the environment girls can learn male dominant skills and vice versa.

 
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 30 November 2009 at 2:01pm
Neuroeconomics and gender differences
 
Neuroeconomics is the use of data on brain processes to suggest new underpinnings for economic theories, which explain how much people save, why there are strikes, why the stock market fluctuates, the nature of consumer confidence and its effect on the economy, and so forth.

Until recently, economists have always been content to treat the human brain as a "black box" and suggest mathematical equations which simplify what the brain is doing. Most empirical studies of economic behavior have therefore relied on measuring inputs, like prices, and predicting outputs, like how much people will buy, from a simplified theory of brain processes. This approach reflects a bias traceable to the 1880’s, when Jevons wrote “I hesitate it is impossible to measure the feelings of the human heart”.

This “rational choice” approach has been enormously successful. But now advances in genetics and brain imaging (and other techniques) have made it possible to observe detailed processes in the brain better than ever before. Brain scanning (ongoing at the new Broad Imaging Center at Caltech) shows which parts of the brain are active when people make economic decisions. This means that we will eventually be able to replace the simple mathematical ideas that have been used in economics with more neurally-detailed descriptions. For example, when economists think about gambling they assume that people combine the chance of winning (probability) with an expectation of how they will value winning and losing (“utilities”). If this theory is correct, neuroeconomics will find two processes in the brain—one for guessing how likely one is to win and lose, and another for evaluating the hedonic pleasure and pain of winning and losing—and another brain region which combines probability and hedonic sensations. More likely, neuroeconomics will show that the desire or aversion to gamble is more complicated than that simple model. Research already shows that pathological gamblers tend to lack a certain gene which limits how much pleasure (in the form of the amount of “dopamine” neurotransmitter that is released when they win) they get from winning. Not getting enough dopamine from everyday pleasures means gamblers need bigger and bigger “fixes” to feel stimulated. In our lab at Caltech, we are also investigating the “fear of the unknown” or “tolerance for ambiguity”—how willing are people to gamble, invest, or take a social risk (like going to a party where they don’t know anybody)? Our hunch is that fear of the unknown is triggered by activity in the “amygdala”, an almond-shaped region (common to most mammals) which is active in registering very rapid sensations of fear, and in both learning and unlearning what to be afraid of. Understanding the neural basis of investing in the face of unknown odds is important for understanding economic phenomena like entrepreneurship, since entrepreneurs start businesses knowing little about their odds—they are economically fearless in a way that most people are not...
In early fMRI brain scanning, with collaborators at Baylor Medical Center, we have studied what goes on in peoples’ brains when they trust and decide how much to repay. We found a surprising effect of gender. When men decide how much to trust or repay, an area called the “medial cingulate sulcus” is active. This is an area used to process potential reward, and calculate numbers. The male brains are just “doing the math” and turn off after they have made a decision. The female brains are quite different. After women have decided how much to repay, but before they know how their partner reacted to their decision, areas of the brain active in processing potential reward (ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum) and in regulating worry and error-detection (caudate nucleus) are active. The women are worrying, and thinking about the reward consequences, after they have decided how much to repay.

The difference in brain activity in the two genders is like the kind of behavior you might see after a couple gets home from a potluck dinner and rehashes the event. The man wants to turn on the TV and catch some sports scores (his medial cingulate is turned off). The woman is more likely to rehash the evening’s events, and worry about whether she said the right thing and whether the hostess was happy with the dish she brought, and whether plans for having lunch later in the week are genuine...
 


Edited by a well wisher - 30 November 2009 at 2:01pm
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 02 December 2009 at 9:56am

New study finds men and women may respond differently to danger

Researchers using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study brain activation have found that men and women respond differently to positive and negative stimuli, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
 
"Men may direct more attention to sensory aspects of emotional stimuli and tend to process them in terms of implications for required action, whereas women direct more attention to the feelings engendered by emotional stimuli," said Andrzej Urbanik, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Radiology at Jagiellonian University Hospital in Krakow, Poland.

While viewing the negative images, women showed decidedly stronger and more extensive activation in the left thalamus, which relays sensory information to and from the cerebral cortex, including the pain and pleasure centers. Men exhibited more activation in the left insula, which gauges the physiological state of the entire body and then generates subjective feelings that can bring about actions. Information from the insula is relayed to other brain structures involved in decision making.

"The brain activation seen in the women might indicate stronger involvement of the neural circuit, which is associated with identification of emotional stimuli," Dr. Urbanik said. "The more pronounced activation of the insular cortex in the men might be related to the autonomic components, such as elevated heart rate or increased sweating, that accompany watching emotional material."

The autonomic nervous system controls involuntary functions, including respiration, heart rate and digestion, and helps to adjust certain functions in response to stress or other environmental stimuli. It is responsible for the body's "fight or flight" response to threatening situations.

"In men, the negative images on the slides were more potent in driving their autonomic system," Dr. Urbanik said. "This might signal that when confronted with dangerous situations, men are more likely than women to take action."

While viewing positive images, women showed stronger and more extensive activation in the right superior temporal gyrus, which is involved in auditory processing and memory. Men exhibited stronger activation in the bilateral occipital lobes, which are associated with visual processing.



Edited by a well wisher - 02 December 2009 at 10:25am
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 21 January 2010 at 2:30pm
Empathy is a Hardwired Feeling
 

As I mentioned in emotions in art and the brain "emotions and feelings are mediated by distinct neural systems. Whereas emotions are automatic responses to sensory stimuli, feelings are 'private, sbjective experiences' that emerge from the cognitive processing of an emotion eliciting state."

Providing hard evidence of this view is an excellent piece of research reported in this week's Science by University College London neuroscientists, Tania Singer and Ray Dolan (who showed videos of this research at the neuroesthetics conference).

"Human survival depends on the ability to function effectively within a social context. Central to successful social interaction is the ability to understand others intentions and beliefs. This capacity to represent mental states is referred to as "theory of mind" or the ability to "mentalize". Empathy, by contrast, broadly refers to being able to understand what others feel, be it an emotion or a sensory state. Accordingly, empathic experience enables us to understand what it feels like when someone else experiences sadness or happiness, and also pain, touch, or tickling."

An Overview of the Empathy Experiment: (A real stinger)

"To hunt for this form of empathy, the researchers recruited 16 heterosexual couples who were romantically involved and assumed to be attuned to each others feelings. Each man and woman had electrodes attached to their right hand capable of delivering a mild, ticklish shock or a stinging, short jolt of pain.

Each woman then had her brain scanned by functional magnetic resonance imaging, while being able to view only the right hand of her beau sitting beside her. Unable to see her loved one's face, her only clue to his state was conveyed symbolically by a set of lights indicating whether he was receiving a mild shock or a stinging jolt.

When the women were subjected to a strong shock, a whole series of brain regions lit up including those on the brain's left side that physically mapped the pain to their hand. The regions of the brain - the anterior insula (AI) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) - involved in the emotional response to pain and other situations, also lit up.

But when their partners were zapped, regions physically mapping the pain were quiet while the AI and ACC and a few other regions lit up in the women's brains. And the signals from those two areas were stronger in women who reported a greater degree of empathy, suggesting these regions mediate empathy.

Singer suspects that our brain's ability to intuit the emotional response of others could have been strongly selected during evolution. "If I do something, it tells me will it make you smash me, will you kill me or will you like it? Being able to predict how others feel might have been necessary for human survival," she says.

I couldn't agree more, empathy is critical to human survival. This research is a great addition to the growing scientific literature on empathy and provides further evidence that animal models of human behavior are insufficient to undertand human behavior and to develop effective neuroceuticals.

 http://brainwaves.corante.com/archives/2004/02/22/empathy_is_a_hardwired_feeling.php

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 09 March 2010 at 8:58am
Neuroscientists Find That Men And Women Respond Differently To Stress
 
Functional magnetic resonance imaging of men and women under stress showed neuroscientists how their brains differed in response to stressful situations. In men, increased blood flow to the left orbitofrontal cortex suggested activation of the "fight or flight" response. In women, stress activated the limbic system, which is associated with emotional responses.
 
… And now, a new high-tech scientific study reveals the differences between men and women may really start at the top. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania used a high-tech imaging method to scan the brains of 16 men and 16 women. The subjects were placed inside a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine, or fMRI.

"Using this state-of-the art-functional magnetic resonance imaging technique, we try to directly visualize what the human brain does during stress," Jiongjiong Wang, Ph.D., a research assistant professor of radiology and neurology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, told Ivanhoe.

Researchers then purposely induced moderate performance stress by asking the men and women to count backward by 13, starting at 1,600. Researchers monitored the subject's heart rate. They also measured the blood flow to the brain and checked for cortisol, a stress hormone.

When the scans were completed, neuroscientists consistently found differences between the men's stressed-out brains and the women's. Men responded with increased blood flow to the right prefrontal cortex, responsible for "fight or flight." Women had increased blood flow to the limbic system, which is also associated with a more  nurturing and friendly response.

Doctors say this information may someday lead to a screening process for mood disorders. "In the future, when physicians treat patients -- especially depression, PTSD -- they need to take this into account that really, gender matters," Dr. Wang explains.

Other experts caution that hormones, genetics and environmental factors may influence these results, bringing to light yet another difference between men and women. Neuroscientists say the changes in the brain during stress response also lasted longer in women...

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 03 April 2010 at 6:18pm

Men Have A Harder Time Forgiving Than Women Do

ScienceDaily (Mar. 3, 2008) — Forgiveness can be a powerful means to healing, but it does not come naturally for both sexes. Men have a harder time forgiving than women do, according to Case Western Reserve University psychologist Julie Juola Exline. But that can change if men develop empathy toward an offender by seeing they may also be capable of similar actions. Then the gender gap closes, and men become less vengeful.

In seven forgiveness-related studies Exline conducted between 1998 through 2005 with more than 1,400 college students, gender differences between men and women consistently emerged....
 
Exline said prior studies have shown that at baseline (without any interventions), men tend to be more vengeful than women, who have been taught from childhood to put themselves "in the shoes of others" and empathize with them.

In Exline's study, women who recalled similar offenses of their own did not show much difference in their levels of vengeance, in contrast to men. Women, having been taught from an early age to be more empathetic, lean toward relationship building and do not emphasize the vengeful side of justice to the degree that men do.

The researchers found that people of both genders are more forgiving when they see themselves as capable of committing a similar action to the offender's; it tends to make the offense seem smaller. Seeing capability also increases empathic understanding of the offense and causes people to feel more similar to the offenders. Each of these factors, in turn, predicts more forgiving attitudes.

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 03 May 2010 at 12:38am

The Male Brain

Dr. Louann Brizendine, from the Dominican University of California, gives scientific insight on the male brain on Fora TV

http://fora.tv/2010/03/31/Dr_Louann_Brizendine_The_Male_Brain

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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote a well wisher Replybullet Posted: 19 May 2010 at 2:11pm
Good Discussion...Thank You for posting
 
Brain Dominance and its Effect on Sex Differences

The sexes are different because their brains are different. (Moir, 1991)
 
In the past ten years, there have been many researches concerning what makes the sexes different. Remarkably, these doctors, scientists, psychologists, and sociologists are not working together but still have arrived at a very similar conclusion.
 
Until a few years ago, the difference between the sexes has always been attributed to social conditioning. This is the expectations of parents whose own attitudes reflect the expectations of society. Very little attention was given to the biological view that a person may be what he or she is because of the way he or she was made or what kind of hormone he or she may possess.
 
Hormones make people behave in specific stereotypical ways. They may provide the partial answer in the difference of the sexes but the answer lies in a more important part of our body – the brain. The brain is one of the most vital organs of our body. It weighs three pounds and is made up of neutral tissue. The brain is divided into two parts or sides and is also known as the hemispheres. The brain consists of the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. These two hemispheres are joined by a bundle of nerves called the corpus callosum
 
But there will come time when the brain has already been organized. No amount of additional male hormones can change the brains organization.
 
Havelock Ellis’s book, Man and Woman (1894), cited several differences. Women’s superiority over men in memory, cunning, dissimulation, compassion, patience, and tidiness. He also stated that a woman genius seemed to need the close support of a man, citing Madame Curie, the wife of a distinguished scientist and Mrs. Browning, a poet whose best poems were made after she met Mr. Browning, as examples...
 

 
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