What makes the female brain so different?
The emotional brain was very active in women, possibly explaining why women tend to have more depression and anxiety. The limbic system is the part of your brain where you feel emotions, such as anger or sadness. It is also the part of the brain that causes anxiety. Dr. Amen’s study found higher blood flow to the limbic system of women’s brains.
Women also had more active prefrontal-cortex. This part of the brain houses your personality and decision making skills. It acts sort of like a commander for the rest of the brain, dealing with task planning and decision-making. It also helps you control your impulses, which might explain why women tend to have less ADHD than men.
An interesting thought was whether women might have some protection from disorders like autism. People with autism usually have trouble with socializing and building relationships. Because both of these things require some ability to empathize or recognize feelings, it might be related to the limbic system. Though we don’t really know the answer yet, we do know that there are almost 5 times more boys with autism than girls.
What about the male brain?
Men displayed highly active areas in the brain as well. In the male brain, blood flowed more in areas for motor and visual functions, which help with coordinating movement. This can be linked to activities such as sports.