Saturday, December 19, 2015

Men have better sense of direction than women

It will be interesting to see if this study can be replicated. It is surprising that testosterone would have such a fast effect on the way the brain functions.

Public Release: 7-Dec-2015
Men have better sense of direction than women
Different approaches to the same navigational tasks underscore sex-linked differences
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

It's been well established that men perform better than women when it comes to specific spatial tasks. But how much of that is linked to sex hormones versus cultural conditioning and other factors?

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) decided to explore this idea by administering testosterone to women and testing how they performed in wayfinding tasks in a virtual environment.

Using fMRI, the researchers saw that men in the study took several shortcuts, oriented themselves more using cardinal directions and used a different part of the brain than the women in the study.

But when women got a drop of testosterone under their tongue, several of them were able to orient themselves better in the four cardinal directions.

"Men's sense of direction was more effective. They quite simply got to their destination faster," says Carl Pintzka, a medical doctor and PhD candidate at NTNU's Department of Neuroscience.


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