Women may have smaller brains than men, but they are more efficient at completing a task. It has been a mystery for scientists and reasearchers 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.
Neuroscientists 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.
This research study 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.
Inductive reasoning is like adjusting a course of action based upon a limited amount of information gathered. It is a process where one starts from a specific experience and draws inferences (generalizations) from it. For example, a sales woman, by observing a potential customer’s reaction to the sales presentation, may induce what the customer’s needs and personality are and what should be said to obtain the sale.
“There is a positive association with hippocampus shape and cognitive performance in males, whereas for females this association is negative. 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.
Source: Intelligence, USA