If you’re one of those people who think that women are not as capable as men in certain job roles, you couldn’t be more wrong – at least in jobs that use a lot of brain power. Although we’ve mentioned that the brains of men and women are wired differently, and that the brain is not a fan of gender equality, a new study has emerged that makes a bold statement of how women have more efficient brains.
Some universities in California and in Madrid have come together in a collaborative effort to study an observation they had made while debating the brain size differences between genders: Why were women of equal intelligence to men, despite having an 8% smaller brain?
Published in the journal Intelligence, the study carefully observed the hippocampus – the area of the brain that mostly deals in consolidation of memory. The larger the hippocampus, the more neurons – and this meant the higher the intelligence. This was how it supposedly worked, and this is how it works for men. What the researchers found, however, defied all previous theories. For women, a larger hippocampus showed no greater advantage. In fact, it might have even suggested that a smaller hippocampus was better!
Although there are differences in specific sorts of brain power between genders – women being better at inductive reasoning, numerical skills, and changing situations; while men were better at spatial reasoning – women’s brains operated at a much more efficient manner.
“The new evidence proposes that in women, a smaller hippocampus proves more efficient. The smaller size could mean that nerve cells are more packed, or that communication and operations between them are more efficient. This leads us to a conclusion that brain size is only one part of the equation.”
Trevor Robbins, Prof. of Cognitive Neuroscience,
Old theories are being disproven and new discoveries are being made every day in the field of neuroscience. However, this new discovery really adds another one to the list of differences between men and women. If there’s one thing that you should take from this article, it’s that size isn’t everything.