HEADLINE: WOMEN USE MORE OF BRAIN WHEN LISTENING, STUDY SAYS; SCIENCE: THEY EMPLOY BOTH SIDES, MEN JUST ONE. BUT WHO LISTENS BETTER? THAT REMAINS A GRAY AREA.
BYLINE: ROBERT LEE HOTZ, TIMES SCIENCE WRITER
Los Angeles Times; November 29, 2000; pages A1, A18, A19.
Confirming what many women have long suspected, new brain research released Tuesday shows that men give only half a mind to what they hear, listening with just one side of their brains while women use both.
This latest insight into the oldest of humanity's differences--gender--doesn't say who is a better listener. But, using a brain scanning technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the work does highlight the differences in neural activity between men and women listening to someone read aloud.
Conducted by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine, the new study is the latest addition to a growing catalog of research suggesting that the mental divide between the sexes is more complex and more rooted in the fundamental biology of the brain than many scientists had once suspected. "As scientists, we're figuring out what normal is, and more and more often it seems that normal for men may be different than normal for women," said Indiana radiologist Dr. Micheal Phillips, co-author of the study. "That doesn't mean one is better than the other." The findings were presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago. The research also has been submitted to the journal Radiology. Understanding whether differences in mental capacity or intellectual ability can be attributed to gender has long confounded scientists, parents, equal rights activists and educators. To be sure, men's and women's brains are more alike than not, but they are definitely not the same--in size, sense or sensibilities.
Only now, however, are reliable studies of metabolic and structural brain organization offering scientists hard evidence of how men and...
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