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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

OOPS! You mean men and women really are different?

By Geoffrey Mohan





Brains of women and men show strong hard-wired differences


JewishWorldReview.com |

LOS ANGELES — (MCT) A map of the human brain may in fact be a two-volume edition, divided by gender, according to a new study that found significant differences between how the male and female brains are hard-wired.

Males tended to have stronger front-to-back circuits and links between perception and action, while women had stronger left-to-right links between reasoning and intuition, according to University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine researchers who imaged the brains of 949 adolescents and young adults.

Their maps of the brain's so-called connectome, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, matched observed behavioral differences between the sexes. Women did better at tests of attention, word and face memory and cognition. Men did better on spatial processing, motor skills and sensorimotor speed.

The results lend weight to growing evidence that humans have formed strong adaptive complementarity, suggesting that biological evolution predisposes the species to divide gender roles. That implication is sure to fuel debate over the roles of nature versus nurture and the interplay of function and structure within the human brain. But they also could inform treatment of neurological disorders known to vary by age and sex, such as autism and schizophrenia.

"There is biology to some of the behavior we see among men and women," said Ragini Verma, a University of Pennsylvania biomedical imaging analyst and lead author of the study.

"In the population, men have stronger front-back connectivity, and women have inter-hemispheric or left-right connectivity more than the men. It's not that one or the other gender lacks the connectivity altogether, it's just that one is stronger than the other," Verma said.

That means men may be quicker on the perception-action path, while women better integrate the analytic side of the brain with the intuitive and social side.

"So, if there was a task that involved logical and intuitive thinking, the study says that women are predisposed, or have stronger connectivity as a population, so they should be better at it," Verma said.



"For men, it says they are very heavily connected in the cerebellum, which is an area that controls the motor skills. And they are connected front to back. The back side of the brain is the area by which you perceive things, and the front part of the brain interprets it and makes you perform an action. So if you had a task like skiing or learning a new sport, if you had stronger front-back connectivity and a very strong cerebellum connectivity, you would be better at it."

Researchers used diffusion tensor imaging, a tool that can indirectly outline the path of myelinated axons, the "wire" section of neurons that facilitate long-range conduction of electrochemical signals and are part of the brain's white matter. They looked at the brains of 428 men and 521 women, ages 8 to 22, who are part of a larger, long-term study known as the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort, conducted with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

In the upper parts of the brain, the men had greater connectivity within hemispheres, while women had greater connection between sides, the study found. Women also tended to have more connections among smaller-scale "modules," while men had stronger connections within those subregions.

In the lower part of the brain, the cerebellum, men had stronger connections between hemispheres, giving them a possible edge at translating perception to motor skills. Women had more interconnections across the frontal lobes, the study found.

The differences in the connectome have come to be called the hunter versus gatherer divide by two of the study's main authors, the husband-wife team of Raquel and Ruben Gur. And the data jibe with findings from a 2011 University of California, Los Angeles, study of twins that found women had stronger inter-hemispheric connections in several subregions of the frontal cortex.

"They confirm a couple of our findings, which is very exciting," said Neda Jahanshad, lead author of the UCLA study, who is now working at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. "This is interesting on a variety of levels because there have been sex differences noted among those with autism, for example."

Men outnumber women by a 4-1 proportion among those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.


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Although such sex differences are important to the study, the Philadelphia cohort, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, was aimed predominantly at studying how brain maturation affects psychiatric disease.

By age, differences between male and female brains become sharp around adolescence but abated somewhat in young adulthood, the study found.

Researchers cautioned that the imagery is an indirect measure of axons, not a cell-by-cell census and map. And the results are strictly statistical averages, although in a very large sample.

Individuals can vary widely by gender, something Verma said she knows well. She earned several advanced analytical math degrees, a heavily left-brained accomplishment. But she has a rough time navigating by cardinal directions, relying instead on memory and landmarks.


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© 2013, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.