Women have more efficient brains: study
It has been a mystery for scientists why women show no difference in intelligence, although their brains are eight per cent smaller than men's.
Neuroscientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, and universities in Madrid, Spain found that women's brains are more efficient, needing fewer neurons and less energy to complete a task.
The study conducted a range of psychological tests on 59 women and 45 men, aged 18-27.
They found that in women the hippocampus, which plays a central role in memory, intelligence and emotion, consumes less energy and uses fewer brain cells on a given task than in men, The Sunday Times reported.
The study, published in the journal Intelligence, found that women outperformed men in inductive reasoning and some numerical skills. They were also better at keeping track of a changing situation, while men did better on spatial intelligence.
"There is a positive association with hippocampus shape and cognitive performance in males, whereas for females this association is negative," said the study.
"The smaller size could represent more intense packing of nerve cells or more active signalling between them. Meaning they are operating more efficiently," said Trevor Robbins, professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Cambridge University.
"The research suggests that, in women, the smaller the hippocampus, the better it works. The size of a structure doesn't necessarily bear any relation to how well it
performs," he said.
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