Men have big­ger brains, but women’s are more ef­fi­cient

Scottish Daily Mail - - Weekender - By Vic­to­ria Allen Sci­ence Cor­re­spon­dent

BRAVE men some­times like to joke that their other halves have smaller brains.

But women per­form bet­ter in mem­ory tests de­spite the fact that men do ac­tu­ally have larger brains, ex­perts say.

That’s even though men have a higher IQ by nearly four points, a study found.

The re­search from the Nether­lands found male brains are around 14 per cent larger.

The study, led by Eras­mus Univer­sity, found women are less in­tel­li­gent than men by ap­prox­i­mately 3.75 IQ points and do sig­nif­i­cantly worse in tests of spa­tial abil­ity.

Lead author Dr Dim­itri van der Lin­den said: ‘We found that men’s brains are larger than women’s and our analysis sug­gests this is the rea­son for lower av­er­age gen­eral in­tel­li­gence across a range of tests.

‘We are aware of pre­vi­ous re­search sug­gest­ing women’s brains are bet­ter or­gan­ised or process in­for­ma­tion more ef­fi­ciently.’

Sci­en­tists took MRI scans and cog­ni­tive tests from 896 peo­ple aged 22 to 37 as part of the Hu­man Con­nec­tome Project.

Pub­lished in the jour­nal In­tel­li­gence, the re­search says men had higher scores on most mea­sures of in­tel­li­gence, in­clud­ing spa­tial aware­ness. Women did bet­ter in mem­ory tests but analysis found this made no dif­fer­ence to their gen­eral in­tel­li­gence.

Brain size in the sexes is hotly de­bated by sci­en­tists.

Dr Joseph Devlin, head of ex­per­i­men­tal psy­chol­ogy at Univer­sity Col­lege Lon­don, said: ‘This is a well-re­searched study but the ev­i­dence is not strong enough to prove larger male brains are more in­tel­li­gent than smaller fe­male brains.’

Univer­sity of California re­search found women’s brains are smaller but could per­form more quickly be­cause of bet­ter con­nec­tions be­tween brain cells.

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